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3 182;> 00134 8077 

orth Sea 





Farthest Advance of Germans, 1914 . - 

Hindenburg Line. 1917 

Farthest Advance of Germans, 1918 . . 
Final Battle Line, Nov. 11,1918 .... 
(Neutral Zone along the Rhine) I ((H 

/ KM> 

Principal Railroads 
Principal Canals 

LO, M. V. 


3 1822 00134 8077 

C -SaulxurtSaA \ J / / / 





The Commander who led the Russian armies to their early victories In East 
Prussia and (jalicia and afterward captured Erzerum and Trebizoud In 
VII. the Caucasus 


Compiled from Original and Contemporary 

Sources: American, British, French, 

German, and Others 



Author of "TJie Old Sew York Frontier," Editor of "Great Epochs in 

American History," "Seeing Europe with Famous Authors," 

"Balfour, Viviani, and Joffre, Their Speeches 

in America," etc. 








August 1, 1914 July 20, 1919 




COP7BIGHT, 1919, B? 

(Printed in the United States of America) 

Copyright Under the Articles of the Copyright Convention of the 
Pan-American Republics and the United States, August 11, 1910 





OSOWIEC, WIRBALLEN (August 1, 1914 December 30, 1914) 3 

25, 1914 September 27, 1914) 42 

December 30, 1914) 65 

(January 1, 1915 April 15, 1915) 99 



22, 1915) 127 

II. THE FALL OF WARSAW (August 4, 1915) 142 

THE EASTERN COMMAND (August 6, 1915 September 18, 

1915) 157 


December 1, 1915) 179 


SIAN'S UNDER BRUSILOFF (December 23, 1915 July 5, 1916) 199 
SEPH DIES (July 6, 1916 January 1, 1917) ..... 233 






1917 April 6, 1917) .259 

HALICZ (May, 1917 August, 1917) 287 


CONTROL (August, 1917 December 13, 1917) . . . .310 


AND MILITARY FORCE (December 17, 1917 May 3, 1918) . 331 
KIN'S DON COSSACKS (June 20, 1918 June, 1919). . . 358 







VON HINDENBURG AND LuoENDORFF .... facing page 72 
VON HINDENBURG AND His STAFF .... facing page 104 


THE KAISER AND His STAFF facing page 144 


GENERAL A. A. BRUSILOFF facing page 216 



NICHOLAS II AND GEORGE V facing page 264 




ELIHU ROOT'S MISSION TO RUSSIA .... facing page 296 




PREMIER KERENSKY facing page 328 













































KOVNO 159 




















































THE CARPATHIAN PASSES facing page 120 

THE BATTLE OF DUNAJEC facing page 128 





KORNILOFF'S LINE OF RETREAT IN 1917 . . . . . . 286 



Part I 





August 1, 1914 December 30, 1914 

SO long as Austria cast her eyes eastward on Saloniki 
as the goal of her expansion, war between her and 
Russia had long been some day inevitable, for before reach- 
ing a port so far east, the Austrian Teuton had first to 
crush the Slav, and that meant a battle of great races. 
Hitherto Austria, in making progress eastward, had been 
able to avoid actual conflict with Russia, a notable example 
being her successful annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 
1908. She tried to make a peaceable advance in 1914 through 
Serbia, but circumstances were not then so favorable. Slav- 
dom, in 1914, was not at the same disadvantage as in 1908; 
it was now ready to fight if that were necessary ; for Austria 
mere bluffing, even with Germany back of her, would not 
be enough. Except for Greeks, Turks and a few Teutonic 
people, the inhabitants of eastern and southeastern Europe, 
numbering roughly 125 millions, were of Slavonic origin. 
They held their territories by right of original settlements 
dating from a time earlier than the coming of Teutonic 
peoples into Europe. Among them were people we now 
know as Bulgars, Montenegrins, Serbs, Croats, and Poles, 
at that time either self-governing themselves, or ruled by 
other Slavonic peoples. Many Slavs in the course of years 
had passed under Teutonic domination for example, in 
East Prussia, where, besides Teutons, the Kaiser ruled over 
Poles, Kasubes and Serbs, and in Austria where the Dual 
Monarch had among his subjects several millions Poles, 
Czechs, Ruthenians, Serbians, Croats, Slovenicks and 

Nevertheless, Slavs have been fervent nationalists, with an 
intense and unconquerable vitality. Like the Jews, they 
have maintained national traits distinct and unchanged in 


spite of centuries of foreign domination. Conquerors who 
have ruled them have never been able to absorb them. This 
vitality has not been passive, as in the Jew, but active. 
When not actively hostile, the Slavs had commonly been 
waiting for an opportunity to become so, and to throw off 
their yoke. For nearly five hundred years Serbia was in 
subjection to the Turk, but Serbia never forgot that she 
had once been an independent empire; nor did she falter in 
her determination some day to be independent again. 

Experiments in governing the Slavs, made by Germany 
and Austria, had proved scarcely more successful than the 
methods practised by the Turks. Neither country ever had 
real peace with its Slavonic subjects. Organized Pan- 
Slavist movements added enormously to their difficulties. 
Austria in particular had had many anxious moments. 
These movements had aimed at unity, if not at an actual 
union, among Slav peoples, and Russia had been in effect 
the natural head of the movement, the ultimate aim being 
to set up free Slavonic nations under the suzerainty, or 
protection, of the Czar. The immediate object meanwhile 
was to free themselves from the rule of foreign races. When 
Serbia in 1912 threw off the Turkish yoke, her object had 
been only half fulfilled. When she won back territory as 
a result of the Balkan War, there still remained millions 
of Serbs under Hapsburg rule. When in 1908 Austria, in 
a time of Russian weakness, seized Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
war for a time seemed inevitable, but the Powers stept 
in and Serbia, unable longer to get Russian help, was forced 
to acquiesce. She resented the indignity and her nationalist 
societies became more bitter and more bold, the chief of 
them the Narodna Obrava, which had an immense mem- 
bership, drawn from all classes, in every town and village. 

It was believed at least in Germany and Austria that 
on an evening early in June, 1914, five members of the 
Narodna Obrava had met in a house near the royal palace 
in Belgrade and taken the action that was destined to light 
the spark that kindled the European conflagration of 1914 
by the assassination on June 28 of the Archduke Francis 
Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife. 
Austria, influenced by Germany, a month later, presented 


her famous ultimatum to Serbia, which made Russian inter- 
vention thereafter inevitable. Serbia at that time was ex- 
hausted in every way, because of her recent wars with 
Turkey and Bulgaria, and Russia was in the midst of a 
scheme of military reorganization which still required a 
couple of years for completion. War must have been the 
last wish to Russia; at any rate Serbia, acting on Russia's 
advice, made an almost abject submission to Austria. In 
spite of that Austria declared war on her. Proposals made 
for peace were dismissed and precautionary measures ex- 
aggerated into hostile acts, until on Friday, July 31, 1914, 
when Germany's military preparations had been practically 
completed, Baron von Pourtales, the German Ambassador 
to St. Petersburg, called on M. Sazonof, the Russian For- 
eign Minister, and formally demanded that Russia's partial 
mobilization cease within twelve hours. On the following 
day Germany declared war on Russia and Russia took up 
her task of defending the Slav from the Teuton. 

The Eastern Campaign in this war was largely over- 
shadowed for French, English, and American readers by 
the Western, especially during the first months. It was 
natural that this should be so. The Western Campaign, as 
described in earlier chapters, was made the more sensa- 
tional and the territory was better known. The interest in 
it, moreover, was greater. To the western frontier the 
Kaiser sent his best forces and from there every day 
news was received. The storm in the east was comparatively 
slow in gathering and lacked, or seemed to lack, the spec- 
tacular element, in consequence perhaps of a press censor- 
ship even more severe than it was in the west. Only the 
barest details were published. Defeats were minimized as 
"local checks," victories were acclaimed as great triumphs. 

Reports did emphasize the fact that not only Russia but 
all Slavdom was united against the Teutons, and . that a 
new Russia was being built up as a result. When, on 
August 8, the Czar received the two Houses of the Duma at 
the Winter Palace in Petrograd and party quarrels, per- 
sonal jealousies and political enmities were forgotten, the 
leader of every party came forward and announced that he 
and his followers would support the Government by every 


means in his power. Even M. Purishkivich, the implacable 
leader of the Anti-Semite movement, praised his Jewish 
fellow-subjects. The Czar's speech, simple and direct, was 
significant because of the stress laid on the racial aspects of 
the war. 

Russia from the start had not only Serbia and Monte- 
negro for allies, but France, and within a few days she 
had England. While the terms of the Franco-Russian 
military convention had been kept secret for years, it had 
become generally understood at least in diplomatic circles 
that each partner was left free in the distribution of his 
forces and in the direction of his campaigns, subject, how- 
ever, to the general purpose of the Entente itself, which was 
that it should be a defensive alliance against any attack by 
Austria and Germany. In compliance with this understand- 
ing, and having also in view the great difficulties of rapid 
mobilization in Russia, it was always regarded as a foregone 
conclusion that France would have to stand the first shock 
of an attack from Germany, but that Russia, so far as lay in 
her power, would assume a vigorous offensive at the earliest 
moment, in order to draw off and weaken the pressure 
against France. France was to continue to engage the 
enemy as long as possible, and at least long enough to 
enable the Russian hosts to carry out their concentration 
and assume a vigorous offensive along the whole line. It 
had long been assumed that neither Germany nor Austria- 
Hungary would engage in hostilities except conjointly and 

The delay of 1914 in the declaration of war by Austria- 
Hungary against Russia was due not to military but to 
political causes. Austria-Hungary hoped first to goad 
Russia into offensive action along her borders, in order that 
the terms of the Austro-German treaty with Italy, under 
which Italy was to join Austria and Germany in a de- 
fensive war, might be invoked to compel Italy to join the 
Teutonic powers in hostilities. It was only when the Vienna 
Government, clearly understood that Italy was determined 
at all costs to play a waiting game that the Austro-Hun- 
garian Ambassador in Petrograd asked for his passports 
and the Austrian Government declared war. This, how- 



ever, did not in any way affect preparations for war, for 
on both sides of the Austro-Russian border mobilization got 
into full swing. The Russian ukase of mobilization, as 
originally presented for the Czar's signature, included the 
whole army, but, for purposes of conciliation, the Czar put 
his pen through the words "general mobilization" and 
ordered only a partial mobilization one confined to the four 
military districts confronting Austria-Hungary. Only on 
the following day, when the action of the German Govern- 
ment convinced him that Germany wanted war, did the Czar 
convert the partial order into a general one. That was 


The picture shows the entire population of a Russian village 
responding to the call 

July 30, the day of the bombardment of Belgrade. On the 
following day, Germany declared war against Russia and 
invaded Luxemburg, and the next day invaded Belgium. 

It was believed that Russia could not possibly concentrate 
her vast forces within a period of less than three weeks, 
whereas Germany did not require more than ten days, 
France twelve days, and Austria-Hungary a somewhat 
longer period. As a matter of fact, the Russian concentra- 
tion of armies, sufficient for the initial stage of war, was 
completed within sixteen days instead of twenty-one. Mobili- 


zation in Russia was carried out in the face of more diffi- 
culties than in any other country involved in the war. The 
undertaking had to be on so vast a scale that it would have 
seemed impossible for human ingenuity to place it on a 
systematic basis. The area of the Russian Empire is forty 
times that of Germany, but its population is only three 
times as great. The units to be concentrated were diffusely 
scattered, and had to be gathered singly, while the aggre- 
gate length of the Russian railway system was only twice 
that of the German lines. Moreover, few of the Russian 
railways had been built with a view to meeting military 
needs. The majority of the troops, when summoned to the 
colors, had to traverse vast distances, and often to go on 
foot, before they could reach a railway that would take 
them to a mobilization center. Of the mobilization among 
the Cossacks, a Government official in the Ural provinces 
wrote a vivid account of scenes he witnessed. Cossacks sup- 
plied their own horses, uniforms, and equipment : 

"On July 31st the village awoke to find a red flag waving before 
the Government building, the sign that a general mobilization had 
been ordered. Immediately everything was in a state of uproar. 
Nobody knew who was the enemy and nobody cared. It was suf- 
ficient that there was war. Only the women made wild conjectures 
as to whom it was against. There was no thought for work. Horses 
were groomed, uniforms donned, rifles and sabers cleaned with en- 
thusiastic vigor. Soon the Government veterinary surgeon took his 
stand before the chief building and the work of examining the 
horses began. Each man in turn brought up his horse and put it 
through his paces. The test was most strict. Any animal showing 
the slightest defect was promptly branded as useless. All day the 
work continued, a crowd of women and children watching the pro- 
ceedings. At night the red flag was pulled down and a red lamp 
hoisted in its place. In the evening there was a great feast. A 
whole ox was roasted and there was dancing among the younger 
people, but owing to the new regulations there was practically no 
vodka. All through the night men came riding into the village 
from the outlying districts. 

"On Sunday, when the preparations were almost complete, the 
consecration service was held. The whole village assembled before 
the little wooden church. It was a stirring sight to see these great 
warriors in their full battle-array kneeling before their Maker and 



solemnly asking His aid. At the conclusion of the service each 
man was blest by the priest and anointed with holy water. Then 
lie led his horse away and received the blessing of his family. On 
the following day they set off on a journey of thousands of miles. 
Women, children and old men watched them. Their eyes gleamed 
with tears and their breasts heaved. Then, when the last man had 
disappeared from view, they turned away, walked to the fields and 
took over the labors which the men had left unfinished." 

At no time during the mobilization was the religious 


aspect of the war forgotten. Before starting on their 
journey, reservists knelt before their humble ikons. In 
every village the priest blest the troops as they passed. 
Ikons and sacred relics were often taken to the front. Petro- 
grad at that time still called St. Petersburg, but the change 
to Petrograd was soon afterward made witnessed an im- 
pressive scene. There the most holy of all ikons, the famous 
Smolensk, "Mother of God," which is embellished with jewels 
enough to ransom the Czar himself, was carried in solemn 
procession to Kazan Cathedral. Hundreds of thousands stood 
in the streets while this ikon passed. Every head was bared, 
a muttered prayer was on every lip. During the services thou- 

v. vii 2 9 


sands were unable to gain admission to the cathedral and 
gathered outside, to the extent of fifty thousand, chanting re- 
sponses and singing hymns. On the Sunday following the 
declaration of war, the Czar blest the Russian arms and those 
of his Allies. The flag of the nation was then placed on the 
altar before. -the Smolensk ikon. With all the Byzantine pomp 
and circumstance of the Greek ritual, the aid of the Almighty 
was invoked. 

Russia had more men at her disposal for military service 
than any other nation. Every year about one million 
Russians attained an age when they were liable for service, 
but of this number only 365,000 were taken, for the reason 
that the State had no need for more. Those chosen were 
physically the best; Russia could not afford to keep 
weaklings in her army. In a country where conditions of 
life were so trying only men with the strongest constitutions 
could withstand them. According to Russian statistics, the 
total mobilized standing army and the reserves numbered 
six million trained men, or 20 per cent, of the population. 
In addition to this were the "Opolchina," or militia, num- 
bering from 890,000 to 1,000,000. The "Opolchina" con- 
sisted of men averaging between 40 to 50 years of age who 
had served their time in the line and reserves. In spite of 
their age many were excellent soldiers, in some respects 
superior to the soldiers of the regular army. 

On August 18 the Russian General Staff announced 
officially that an advance on the Prussian and Austrian 
frontiers had begun, and the Czar's armies expected soon to 
be in touch with their enemies. German anxiety over this 
situation became acute. Late in August, while fighting at 
Charleroi in Belgium, Germans heard that Russia had ad- 
vanced into East Prussia and won several victories ; that she 
had isolated Konigsberg, and was moving forward toward 
the Vistula. At the end of the third week in August, there- 
fore, it became necessary for Germany to deplete the armies 
she had sent against France. Two corps were ordered into 
East Prussia and yet the first great battle of the war in 
the West was unfought. 

It was important, in understanding the offensive cam- 
paign in the East, to consider the configuration of that 



great Russian frontier district, for it determined the initial 
strategy. Russia was bound to assume the offensive against 
Germany, in order to relieve her Allies who were meeting the 
German onslaught in the West. Her natural line of attack 
was through Posen, that angle of her frontier being only 
180 miles from Berlin, the salient of Poland going racially 
much farther west than the Warta, including as it did in 
the racial sense the bulk of the province of Posen and a 
considerable part of West Prussia. Germany had been un- 
successful in governing her Poles> schemes of Prussianization 
and land settlements having come to futile ends. By mov- 
ing westward along the Posen route, Russia was moving 
among a race who, in spite of all they had suffered from 
Russia, preferred a Slav to a Teuton ruler. But this direct 
advance could not be made until Russia's flanks had been 
safeguarded by a conquest of East Prussia and Galicia 
that is to say, until the Russian armies could be deployed 
safely on a front which may be denned by the Lower 
Vistula, the Warta, and the Upper Oder. Russia's first task, 
therefore, was to defeat the Germans in East Prussia and 
the Austrians in Galicia. 

Actual hostilities in the East had begun in a small way 
long before Russia's army was fully mobilized. In the first 
days of August, at Prostken, in East Prussia, shots were 
exchanged between border patrols, and two squadrons of 
Russian cavalry invaded Germany, with Johannisburg as 
their objective. About the same time German troops crossed 
into Russian Poland and occupied the railway junction at 
Kalisz. Meanwhile, the German cruiser Augsburg invaded 
and bombarded Libau, the Russian port on the Baltic, where 




were stores of grain and naval supplies. As Russia had also 
threatened Galicia, a part of the Austrian offensive against 
Serbia had to be abandoned. At the same time numerous fron- 
tier raids were made by Germany, in order to harass the 
Russians while their mobilization was in progress. These 
German forces were chiefly Landwehr and comprised about 
twenty divisions of 20,000 men each, with thirty-one cavalry 
regiments and six batteries of artillery. This army, after- 
ward commanded by General von Hindenburg, was mobilized 
on a line of about thirty miles, its right flank protected by 
the Masurian marshes, its left resting on Insterburg. 

The Russians, after collecting considerable forces under 
General Rennenkampf, threw back the German cavalry 
which harassed them and made tentative advances over the 
Prussian frontier. Cavalry cut the strategical railway at 
Lyck, and pushed back German outposts toward the lakes. 
Having crossed the frontier at Suwalke and Wirballen on 
August 7, Reunenkampf attacked and defeated von Francois 
near Insterburg on the 16th, causing him to fall back on 
Konigsberg. Meanwhile Samsonoff, advancing from south- 
west of the Masurian Lakes, attacked a German corps at 
Frankenau on the 20th, defeating it with heavy loss, and 
driving it in disorder toward Konigsberg. Samsonoff entered 
Allenstein on the 25th and after deploying his army west of 
that town between the Thorn-Soldau and Thorn-Allenstein 
railways, sent out cavalry toward the Vistula. In these 
preliminary operations the Russians obtained a commanding 
footing in East Prussia, and the Germans penetrated 
Russian Poland. A Russian invasion of Galicia had mean- 
while become significant. As early as August 8 a Russian 
army had crossed the Styr and obtained a footing, and two 
regiments of German infantry supported by cavalry oc- 
cupying a position near Brody were attacked by Cossacks 
and took flight. 

By the middle of August Russia was believed to have 
her army almost ready for serious war. From the most 
western Russian frontier the distance to Berlin was only 180 
miles, and the Germans thus far had in the territory only 
Landwehr and Landsturm forces, second-rate fighting ma- 
terial, while Austria was too busy with mutinous soldiers to 



become a menace. Optimistic strategists said it might be only 
a matter of weeks before Russian legions would be close to 

East Prussia is a region much easier to defend than to 
attack, the greater part being covered with marshes, lakes, 
and forests. Moreover, it was strongly fortified. Konigs- 
berg was a first-class modern fortress, while on 'the line of 
the Vistula were Thorn, Grau- 
denz, and Danzig, which were 
even more powerful. Konigs- 
berg and Danzig had the ad- 
vantage of being ports as well 
as fortified towns, and so 
could be used for landing 
large supplies of men and ma- 
terial. Russia, however, might 
have made a sudden dash on 
Berlin at this time, and the 
dash might have proved suc- 
cessful. The country was 
favorable for a quick advance, 
the communications good, with 
well-made roads and direct 
railway connections with the 
Russian base at Warsaw. 

The capture of Berlin at 
that time, however, would no 
more have crusht Germany 
than the occupation of Brussels 
crusht Belgium, and such an 
doomed to ultimate disaster. 


Rennenkampf commanded a Rus- 
sian army under the Grand Duke 
Nicholas at the outbreak of the 
war and for several months after 
the Battle of Tannenberg 

advance would have been 
An invading army nr'ght have 
reached Berlin, but, sooner or later, it would have found 
itself cut off from supplies. It would have left behind it 
large forces of German troops in East Prussia and Austrian 
armies in Galicia, so that in time a Russian army around 
Berlin might have met with a greater and more disastrous 
Sedan than the French in 1870. Before Russia could set 
off on the 180-mile journey to Berlin, it was necessary for 
her first to remove all sources of danger in her rear. Ger- 
mans had to be driven out of East Prussia or safely held 


there and Austrians swept from Galicia. The army of Ren- 
nenkampf now invading Prussia did not comprise the 
million men with which it was credited. It is doubtful if 
it comprised half a million. Russia had to guard a fron- 
tier about seven times as long as the one between Germany 
and France. The Grand Duke Nicholas, Commander-in- 
Chief, did not regard the invasion of East Prussia as of 
such paramount importance as the invasion of Galicia. 

There was another route to Berlin besides the one through 
East Prussia, and it possest many obvious advantages, over- 
looked sometimes by strategists. It lies along the Oder, 
through Silesia and Saxony. If Russia could crush the 
military power of Austria in Galicia and drive the rem- 
nants of her armies across the Carpathians, pursuing them 
to Budapest and Vienna, or confining them to the Hun- 
garian plains, she would be free to advance on Breslau and 
then on Berlin, This route, assuming that Austria had been 
thoroughly beaten beforehand, would then be safe. The 
country was open and well provided with railways, had ex- 
cellent roads, and contained only one fortress of any 
strength and this fortress could have been easily masked. 
An additional advantage was that Silesia was a busy mining 
and industrial province, with a population of nearly 6,000,- 
000. An invading army could send in flight before it panic- 
stricken fugitives to impede defensive German measures and 
to strike terror in Berlin long before the menace of an in- 
vasion had seemed serious so thought optimists among the 
Allies and their sympathizers. 

The Russian offensive was thus divided into two parts one 
directed against Austria, the other against Germany. The 
former was composed of twelve army corps, the latter, of 
perhaps fi-fteen. To meet the twelve, the Austrians had 
sixteen that is, except those opposing the Serbians, those 
holding the Slavs in check in Austrian territory, and those 
protecting her coasts and the Italian frontier, for which 
work four corps at least were required, while two others 
had joined the Germans on the lower French frontier. 
Russia could therefore reckon on a numerical advantage of 
two corps. For penetrating Prussia and moving toward 
Berlin, she would ultimately have fifteen army corps avail- 



able. The Germans in their Eastern territory had not more 
than five corps of the first line. To meet, the difference they 
had to draw on their second line, but this could not be 
mobilized until the first was in the field and it was naturally 
inferior in equipment and in military value. Russia's ad- 
vantage in this field, provided her regular army could be 
brought up, would thus be great. 

The problem with Russia was to clear both her flanks, 
and then take Krakow. To that task she set herself again 
and again, and never really abandoned it, even when cen- 
tral and southern Poland were swarming with German 
troops and the people of Warsaw were preparing for flight. 
Throughout the whole of the first six months' campaigning, 
Krakow was the heart of the problem. While Krakow re- 
mained untaken, no advance on a grand scale into either 
Prussia or Hungary was possible, while the chance of reach- 
ing Vienna was too remote to be thought of. With Krakow 
in Russian hands the whole situation would have been 
changed. Roads through Silesia to Berlin, or through 'the 
Moravian Gate to Vienna, would then have been open and 
Hungary could have been raided to the gates of Buda- 

Russia soon found it was easier to mobilize her millions 
than to arm, equip and place them in battle-line. The per- 
plexities and obscurities of the early months of the cam- 
paign turned on the difficulty of converting mobilized men 
into efficient combatants, clothed in uniforms, furnished with 
rifles and ammunition, and ready to fight. Her supply of 
clothing and arms, and above all of ammunition, was in- 
sufficient. The factories of Russia worked without ceasing, 
and the Allies did their best to supply her deficiencies, so 
long as there was any chance of getting supplies into the 
country. Japan sent great quantities of warlike stores and 
huge purchases were made from neutrals. Yet it was a long 
.time before Russia was able to overcome her manifold needs. 
Lack of material, and not poor fighting qualities among her 
troops, was the chief explanation of such reverses as she en- 
countered in the earlier stages of the campaign. She had 
to fight on an incredibly long front; her actual fighting line 
was at some points dangerously thin. She was particularly 



short of big-gun ammunition, a difficulty which soon ham- 
pered all the combatants. 

The story of the first few months of fighting in the 
Eastern theater falls naturally into certain definite sections. 
First was the invasion of East Prussia, and the victory of 
Gumbinnen, followed by Hindenburg's retaliatory stroke, the 
famous batt-le of Tannenberg, and the unsuccessful attempt 
of the Germans to reach and cross the river N.emen. Then 
came, practically as a separate episode, the invasion of 
Galicia, and the first defeats of the Austrian armies, pre- 
ceded by a brief Austrian invasion of Poland, after which 
followed the swift Russian advance; the fall of Lemberg; 
the investment of Przemysl, and all that confused fighting 
which carried the Russians to the crest of the Carpathians, 
and even enabled them to make short incursions into Hun- 
gary. These operations were as remarkable as the swift 
German invasion of France in 1870, and yet the world was 
slow to realize what Russia was doing and after it knew, was 
inclined to indifference to it. 

The real Russian advance into Prussia began on August 
16, the seventeenth day after mobilization began. On the 
17th the advance forces encountered a German army corps 
and at Stalluponen fought a small action, stubborn while 
it lasted. The Germans claimed to have taken 3,000 
prisoners before they fell back on Gumbinnen, where soon 
afterward was fought the first considerable battle in this 
Eastern campaign. The Russian advance covered a front 
of about 35 miles, from Pilkallen on the north to Goldap on 
the south. The center followed the line of the main road 
and railway from Stalluponen to Gumbinnen where the 
ground was flat and nearly featureless, in a country of rye- 
and potato-fields, with scattered farmhouses, little villages 
and windmills. The Russian left had to clear and traverse 
pine woods which stretch for miles east and north of the 
important railway junction at Goldap. 

The main battle near Gumbinnen was fought on the 20th. 
Gumbinnen was a p ; cturesque country town, with fine old 
gabled houses, dating from the early eighteenth century. 
Rennenkampf in this battle had a numerical superiority 
which suggested an enveloping movement, but he preferred 



and the ensuing 
operations against Warsaw HeiHgwn 

Fortified places " 

B A L T I C 8 M A 

^m\ke^ .Kolbuszo&S 

VII 16 


a frontal attack on the center. The fighting began at dawn 
with an artillery duel, but the Russian infantry charged 
without waiting for much artillery preparation, and carried 
position after position by use of the bayonet and hand- 
grenade. The Germans counter-attacked with stubborn 
courage. Some of the ground changed hands several times 
in the course of the day. One German brigade was caught 
in a cross-fire of rifles and Maxims, and left 3,000 dead on 
the field. The fighting lasted fourteen hours. It was only 
at nightfall that the Germans withdrew. After six days the 




The men are shown on arrival by rail In Jersey City, and had come from 

many parts of the country, after war was declared, to board ship in 

New York harbor 

Germans retreated pursued by the Russians. Eight German 
regiments of the field army and six Landwehr regiments, 
w r ith a total of 70,000 men and 200 guns, had taken part in 
the fighting during the first four days. Later reinforce- 
ments brought the number of Germans engaged up to per- 
haps 100,000. The total German forces then available in 
East Prussia, besides the independent cavalry division, were 
five corps of the field-army numbering 210,000 men ; 540 



field-guns, 180 howitzers, and a considerable number of 
siege-guns. The total German force in all parts of the 
East, not counting the Landsturm, was estimated at per- 
haps 500,000 men, with 1,100 field-guns and howitzers, and 
a large number of siege-guns. 

The immediate result of Gumbinnen was to make Russia 
for the time being master of Prussia east of a line from 
Konigsberg to Allenstein. When Insterburg fell into 
Russian hands it ensured for Rennenkampf ample supplies, 
and Tilsit being isolated, its capture became a matter of 
convenience. The whole region of the Masurian lakes was at 
the mercy of the Russians. Pursuing Cossacks caused a 
panic among the German civil population. From every 
village and town they began to fly, some toward Danzig, 
others toward Graudenz in the hope of reaching Berlin. 
They were said to number two hundred and fifty thousand. 
Germans told stories of Russian atrocities. Commerce came to 
a standstill and prices rose. No accommodations could be 
found for the refugees, most of whom were penniless. 

The Russians reached Insterburg late on the 23d, and be- 
tween the 24th and 29th occupied it. Thenceforward, Ren- 
nenkampf 's advance was practically unopposed. His left 
wing prest on from Goldap to Darkehmen, and southward to 
Angerburg, on the edge of the lake country. Thence it fol- 
lowed the cross country strategical railway that runs from 
Nordenburg to Gerdauen and Allenburg. On the north it 
held Tilsit, and the Tilsit-Konigsberg railway as far as 
Libau. On the main line to Konigsberg it reached Tapiau. 
The northern portion of East Prussia was securely in 
Russian grasp as far as the River Alle. Rennenkampf 's 
cavalry had pushed downward as far as Rastenburg and 
Korschan Junction. The claim was currently made for the 
cavalry that it had "invested" Konigsberg. It hardly did 
that, for it left open the vital Konigsberg-Danzig railway. 
But it threatened Konigsberg, and might hope to press on 
toward Danzig and the Vistula. 

It was not until after their defeat at Gumbinnen that the 
Germans took the danger to East Prussia seriously. Absorbed 
.in their offensive in France, they had at first left only five 
corps of the active class to operate on the Eastern Front. 



By the third week in August the General Staff saw that 
serious measures had to be taken, the German position in 
the east having been gravely imperiled. The story of how, 
within a week, they turned the tide, and how one of the 
few decisive, altho local, victories in the war was achieved, 
made a brilliant page in the military history of Germany. 
The reconquest of East Prussia was vitally necessary to the 
Germans. Without it, any advance from Posen would have 
been caught on the flank. East Prussia was one of the 
oldest provinces of the Prussian monarchy. Konigsberg had 
been the capital of the dukes of Prussia in days when 
Berlin was an unknown fishing village among the swamps 
of the Spree. 

Before the outbreak of the war, there was living in 
Hanover a General von Hindenburg, veteran of the war 
of 1870, who had been for some years on the retired list. 
He had spent much of his life in East Prussia, had com- 
manded in succession two army corps at Konigsberg and 
Allenstein, and often in mimic war at annual maneuvers 
had rehearsed the defense of that forest region against a 
Russian invasion. He knew every yard of the place as a 
Scottish gillie knows a deer-forest. After his retirement in 
1911, he made the defense of East Prussia his sole hobby, 
haunted its forests and marshes, sometimes on foot, some- 
times testing infrequent roads by motor-car, and sometimes 
experimenting with a field-gun from a neighboring garrison. 
Some of the lakes in this territory were wide and shallow 
stretches with hard gravel bottoms. By practical tests he 
found out where a gun could be driven through them. 
Others, tho shallow, had mud a yard deep below the water, 
and would be impassable for artillery. Year after year he 
explored the countryside and marked his maps with infor- 
mation as to every acre. 

Before the war Hindenburg 's military career had been 
one of regular, but not brilliant, advancement. Of genius 
no one suspected him. His powerful, square-cut face sug- 
gested resolution and method rather than inspiration. Called 
from his retirement and sent to this front, Hindenburg 's 
strategical problem was, how with limited forces, and those 
largely second-line material, he could beat two armies nearly 



united, each equal to his own in numbers and possibly more 
than equal. Clearly he had to take them in detail. The 
essence of success was rapidity of movement and promptitude 
in assembling forces. So sure was he of his stroke that 
local superiority in numbers against one-half the enemy's 
forces contented him. He resolved to deal first of all with 
Samsonoff 's army, and then, if that stroke should succeed, to 
deal with Rennenkampf, his chief strategical asset being the 
superb railway system of Prussia, which was worked night 
and day collecting his army. Hindenburg had the equivalent 
of about four full army corps, at most 160,000 men. Samso- 
noff had five corps, over 200,000 men, but they were some- 
what scattered, and it w r as said that not more than three 
and a half corps (seven divisions) were actually engaged in 
the disastrous struggle among the lakes which came to be 
known as the battle of Tannenberg. 

When Hindenburg arrived in East Prussia, two Russian 
armies had crossed the frontier and were moving in the 
direction of Konigsberg, evidently intending to effect a 
junction there and capture that stronghold. Part of the 
Wilna Army had crossed in the region of Eydtkuhnen, on 
the main line of railway from Berlin to Petrograd. It had 
little difficulty, as it advanced westward, in pushing the 
small German Landsturm troops before it, but on a line some 
thirty miles east of Konigsberg, Rennenkampf, its com- 
mander, grew cautious, intrenched himself, and awaited 
developments. The Second or Narew Army, under Samso- 
noff, had advanced from the South by way of Mlawa and 
Soldau, and occupied Allenstein ; but he, too, growing appre- 
hensive lest he should push ahead too vigorously, retired 
somewhat toward the south, and took positions among the 
western Masurian Lakes. 

Hindenburg decided to attack Samsonoff 's army at once 
by a double flanking movement. There was nothing novel 
in his strategy, but it was a daring venture against an 
enemy outnumbering the German forces, as Hindenburg 
himself assured us, by three to one. Another striking dis- 
play of boldness and readiness to take big risks was seen 
when he drew away most of the troops that had been hold- 
ing Rennenkampf in check, and brought them by forced 



marches to take part in the fighting against Samsonoff. 
This left Rennenkampf within striking distance of German 
columns moving to the east of Allenstein in order to turn 
Samsonoff 's right wing, hold the northerly defiles between 
the lakes, and prevent him from saving himself by effecting 
a junction with Rennenkampf. The German main attack 
delivered from the south was thus able to crush in the Rus- 
sian forces among the lakes and swamps, making it impos- 
sible for Samsonoff to deploy troops effectively. Hinden- 
burg's columns making this movement became exposed to 


the danger of attack from fresh Russian troops coming 
across the frontier, and had first to beat off an attack before 
effecting the destruction of Samsonoff's army. 

As soon as Samsonoff had been disposed of, and before 
the immense booty had been fully garnered, Hindenburg 
began to move on Rennenkampf, following the best German 
strategy of unrelentingly pushing an advantage once gained. 
As it was not possible in this case to repeat an enveloping 
movement, Hindenburg directed a part of his forces against 
the Russian left and attacked vigorously. The main blow, 
however, was dealt elsewhere. The direct attack was only 



designed to veil it. While the fighting was in progress, 
another large force was sent swinging completely around 
the southern end of the lakes for the purpose of gaining 
access to the Russian rear east of Augerburg, a ruse that 
was successful; but Rennenkampf, seeing his danger, began 
a hurried retreat across the frontier, and succeeded in 
getting away with much less damage than Samsonoff had 

The Russians had advanced against Hindenburg with 
little thought of peril. Easy successes had led them to sup- 
pose they had nothing worse to fear than a repetition of the 
same feeble opposition they had formerly encountered. They 
found, however, that they were dealing with larger masses, 
and that they were fighting against a well-conceived idea. 
Hindenburg, in his first strokes at the lakes, won the most 
complete victory which had so far fallen to any commander 
in any single battle of the war. His prisoners were as 
numerous as those taken at Sedan. On September 11 the 
Russians evacuated Insterburg, and in a general order dated 
from that town on the 15th, Hindenburg was able to an- 
nounce that Prussia was free from the last of the invaders, 
and that German troops had penetrated Russia. 

In this battle the Russians, believing a successful offen- 
sive was their only chance, had blundered forward, their 
center backed by a vast swamp. Hindenburg then struck 
his blow. An immense force was hurled against the Russian 
right, and a desperate encounter followed, with weight of 
numbers favoring the Germans, the Russians being forced 
back on the swamps. What followed was not a battle, but 
hideous slaughter. The Russian position was circular in 
shape. Outside this circle the land sloped up toward the 
surrounding enemy; inside was the network of swamp and 
lakes. On three sides stood the Germans; on the fourth side 
escape was only possible through swamps and boggy streams. 

The Russians were unable to maneuver on swampy ground, 
while the Germans, in possession of solid higher ground, 
were free to move at will. From three sides they poured 
murderous fire into the helpless Russians, forcing them into 
the swamps. The carnage continued until nightfall. Ren- 
nenkampf then managed to escape with a remnant of his 



army, leaving three generals among thousands slain. Hin- 
denburg had obtained ample revenge for the defeat at 
Gumbinnen, but it was one of the most frightful of battles 
a battle which was said to have caused officers to go mad 
from its horrors. The Germans closed in, concentrating a 
terrible fire on the Russians. Guns sank in the mud; horses 
and men were embogged. The nature of the ground caused 
the Russians to break up into helpless groups, many of them 
were forced farther and farther back into the awful swamps. 
The mists of evening added to the weirdness of the fray. 
Out of the blackness of night rang the wild neighing of 



horses, mingled with the despairing shrieks of men sinking 
in the quicksands and the slime. Only the Sixth and half 
of the First Army Corps succeeded in escaping and recross- 
ing the frontier. They had lost heavily. Germany was 
jubilant. Her people celebrated the battle of Tannenberg as 
their "Russian Sedan." 

Hindenburg had taken up his position with unerring 
skill. His left was northwest of Allenstein, astride the 
railway from Osterode to Insterburg; his center about Gil- 
genburg; his right wing ran from Usdau to Soldau, and 
rested on the railway which runs from Eylau the scene 



of one of Napoleon's famous battles across the Russian 
frontier to Mlawa. All access to his front was barred by 
lakes and swamps, over which his artillery had a perfect 
field of fire. Between these obstacles he had dug trenches 
and felled trees, and had formed a line of improvised forest 
fortifications like those behind which the American armies 
fought in the Battle of the Wilderness. 

When Hindenburg's troops had defeated the Russians he 
was not satisfied with having driven them into the swamps; 
but had tens of thousands of them who had surrendered and 
who tried to get out of the fen, pushed back with bayonets 
until killed or drowned. Such was his command to the 
soldiers. No quarter was given, for Germany had no use for 
so many, prisoners. It was said in Germany at the time that 
"one could hear the cries of the poor Russians, that the 
thunder of cannon was drowned by their cries, and that 
many who had to hear the shrill sounds of desperation be- 
came insane. 1 ' Ninety thousand prisoners were taken in 
that battle, but still more "were murdered when they were 
defenseless and begged for mercy and nobody uttered a 
word of regret. To the contrary, everybody in Germany 
approved the incident, saying that no other procedure would 
have been right." 

On the 28th and 29th there was desperate fighting for 
possession of Passenheim, but the big guns from the Vistula 
fortresses made Samsonoff's position untenable. There re- 
mained only the defile toward Ortelsburg, and on the 30th 
the Russians were in full retreat along this narrow outlet. 
Hindenburg's left, not less than 60,000 strong, was well east 
of Passenheim, and the bulk of Samsonoff's forces were 
shut up in a tract of ground where, between clumps of 
wood, lay treacherous swamps and wide, muddy lakes. The 
Russian batteries, as they retired, found their guns sinking 
to the axle-trees. Horses struggled in vain through the 
bogs, and as the circle closed in on the beaten army, whole 
regiments were driven into the lakes and drowned in the 
water or choked in bottomless mires. 

The last day of the battle, August 31, was an unrelieved 

1 Statement by Dr. Wilhelm Muehlon, a former director of Krupps, pub- 
lished in Switzerland in 1918. 



disaster for the Russian army. Samsonoff had been lost 
with two of his corps commanders and several divisional 
generals and brigadiers had been killed or wounded. The 
Army of the Narew had been five corps strong at the 
beginning of the fight, but little more than one complete 
corps and a portion of another succeeded in gaining Ortels- 
burg, and retreating eastward by the line of the frontier 
railway. As to Samsonoff 's fate, General Gourko, 2 at one 
time chief of the Russian staff, said that as night fell, Samso- 
noff, and five other staff officers, were guiding themselves 
through thick forests toward the Russian frontier. Amid 
a hail of bullets the party dismounted and continued their 
way on foot, into another belt of forest, when utter darkness 
surrounded them. Samsonqff, who suffered from heart trou- 
ble, finding his breathing more and more difficult, had 
lagged behind. Later, when everybody was called for, all 
answered except Samsonoff. His ultimate fate was never 
definitely cleared up, "altho little doubt remained that he 
died a lonely death during that melancholy flight through 
the darkened forest." Samsonoff, feeling it impossible to 
move a step farther, had probably sat down on a h'llock. 
In the course of time in that locality an unknown soldier 
was found and buried. From his dead body a gold medal- 
lion was taken. It proved to be a portrait of Samsonoff 's 
wife, which left little doubt that Samsonoff had died and 
been buried alone in that forest. 

Samsonoff 's defeat was due partly to over-confidence, 
partly to defective intelligence. He had won an easy victory 
on the 20th, and he trusted to luck rather than prudent 
generalship to take him further on his way to the Vistula. 
Up to the morn.'ng of the 20th he was unaware of the 
presence of a large German force on his front, and until 
Hindenburg seized Soldau he had no warning of impending 
danger. This was the fault of his airmen and cavalry, who 
failed to discover the German concentration till Hindenburg 
had got within striking distance of the Russian Army. 
When the facts of the situation were revealed, Samsonoff 
made the mistake of offering battle in a position which was 
neither defensible nor adapted for offensive tactics. The 

2 In Hs "War and Revolution in Russia" (The Macmillan Company). 

v. vii s 25 


rash strategy of the Russian commander, and his faulty 
decision to fight when he ought to have retreated, were the 
causes which led to this deplorable disaster at the opening 
of the campaign. 

General Gourko attributed the disaster to the failure of 
certain corps to hold firm, to the imperfection of Russian 
communications, and to Samsonoff's lack of imagination in 
battle. The Russian flanks were prest back at the same time 
that the two center corps under Samsonoff were gaining a 
decided success; but Samsonoff failed either to hear of 
the retreat of the flanks, or to divine its possibility, and at 
the moment when he thought victory almost within his 
grasp it suddenly became evident that the Germans were 
not only at his side, but closing in behind him. Upon 
failure to supply the Russian armies with munitions, Gourko 
offered a large body of striking facts. In 1915 there was 
a much greater shortage than in 1914, the situation, to a 
certain extent, being remedied during the succeeding year. 
Foremost among the desiderata of the Russian armies were 
artillery and artillery ammunition. Russian batteries were 
sent to the rear simply because there were not shells for 
them, and this at periods when the Germans very heavily 
out-gunned the Russians. In 1914 the Germans were em- 
ploying fourteen-inch guns, while throughout 1915 the Rus- 
sians had nothing heavier than six-inch guns, few of these, 
and little ammunition for them. During 1915 there was 
such a shortage of cartridges that the troops were continually 
exhorted to be sparing of them, and in trench fighting the 
Russian rule was that no matter how heavy the German 
fire, the men were to use their rifles only in repulsing an 
attack. The most important cause of rifle shortage was 
the loss of great quantities on the field. When the war 
was well advanced units were formed especially for the 
collection of the equipment of the wounded and dead. As 
early as the spring of 1915 some of the reinforcements came 
forward unarmed. 

Strategically, Hindenburg had outmaneuvered his oppo- 
nent; tactically he had shown, not for the first time in 
history, that with- skilful handling a smaller force may 
envelop a larger. Tannenberg was a vindication of the 



hobby of the old man's lifetime. The moral effect was 
lasting. Germany had anticipated great and immediate 
successes in the Western theater. No one had believed at 
the outset that much could be done in the East. But Tan- 
nenberg was decisive only as to East Prussia. In the larger 
aspect it was a local victory, since Hindenburg was unable 
at once to follow it up. Nearly a year elapsed before he 
could do that. Meanwhile he again and again made heavy 
efforts to capture Warsaw, and each time failed until a year 
later, when the Russians were short of ammunition and he 
succeeded. It was not until September, 1917, that the 
criminality of the old Russian government in withholding 
supplies from the Russian army then and afterward was 
demonstrated. In the trial for treason of General Sukhom- 
linoff, who was Minister of War when the conflict began, 
the jury rendered a verdict of guilty, and he was sentenced 
to life imprisonment. This verdict carried condemnation 
for corruption and treason almost unexampled in history. 
Sukhomlinoff's treason consisted in the betrayal of the Rus- 
sian army into the hands of its German enemies, who paid 
him for his services. It was shown that he had received 
German money for allowing troops to serve in Galicia with- 
out supplies; that he had received German money for 
blockading railroads; that he had received German money 
for holding up at Archangel ammunition that had been 
sent to the army by Russia's Allies, and which might have 
given his country a triumph over Germany and Austria. 
Treachery for which he had received German money had cost 
tens of thousands of Russian lives. A jury in the new-born 
Russia found him guilty of all these things. 

"This battle is terribly difficult for a civilian to under- 
stand," said a layman visitor 3 to the field of Tannenberg to 
a German officer, a year after the battle. "You can be 
sure," the officer replied, "that it is very difficult for an 
officer to understand. The truth is that, without maps, no 
officer could disentangle the details of the movement. The 
battle in one way was intricate; in another way it was not. 
Its large principle was simplicity itself, and that principle 
is as old as Hannibal's victory at Cannae more than two 

3 James O'Donnell Bennett of The Time* (New York). 



thousand years ago." "And the old principle," said an 
American army-officer present, "is the principle of 'let 'em 
come, and then destroy them,' isn't it?" "Precisely," re- 
plied the German. "In other words, the principle of weak- 
ening your center, with attendant enveloping movements." 
"Luring them on, and bending them double,'' said the 
American. "That is near enough," replied the German. 
At Cannae in 216 B.C. Hannibal, by the application of this 
principle, destroyed with his 50,000 Carthaginian mercena- 
ries all of 79,000 Romans except 6,000, who broke through 
his enveloping lines. 

A year after Tannenberg, soldiers were coming from 
remote parts of the world to study the field. Tannenberg, 
fought by a man 67 years old, who had served at Sedan as 
a lieutenant of three and twenty, had a terrain five times 
as large as the terrain of Sedan. At Sedan the Germans 
took 83,000 prisoners, including the Emperor of the French 
and a Marshal of France. At Tannenberg they took 90,000 
prisoners and eliminated two of the foremost Generals of 
the Russian Army from participation in the war one 
through death and one through resignation consequent upon 
discredit. Waterloo was fought and won in less time than it 
would take to cover, the boundaries of the field of Tannenberg 
in a fast automobile. Tannenberg lasted almost as many days 
as Waterloo did hours. Waterloo began between 11 o'clock 
and noon of Sunday, June 18, 1815, and had reached a 
decisive stage by 8 o'clock in the evening. Tannenberg 
began on Sunday, August 23, and continued through Sun- 
day, August 29. In extent it was as stupendous as it was 
unexampled in duration. 

There were so many vital points in so extensive a field 
that it could not in strict truth be said that Hindenburg's 
victory was a battle of Tannenberg. It might have been 
called and more accurately called the battle of Miihlen, 
or of Gilgenburg, or of Hohenstein, or of Allenstein, or of 
Ortelsburg. Indeed, it was called by all but one of these 
five names for several weeks after it was won. Why Ger- 
many finally settled on Tannenberg was a matter of senti- 
ment that had to do with a battle which Carlyle called 
"that fatal Tannenberg business" and "that terrible down- 



come of Tannenberg" that had occurred four centuries 
before. East Prussia was the cradle and stronghold of the 
original Prussian race. From its chill plains and dense 
forests sprang the nobles and rulers who, under the leader- 
ship of the House of Hohenzollern, eventually were to weld 
the German Empire into an organic whole. When, in the 
fourteenth century, the German tribes were pushed back 
from the Rhone and the Meuse, the tide of their migration 
swept eastward. German colonists crossed the Elbe and 
lower Vistula, and settled in the Eastern forests and 
marshes, already occupied in part by their own near kins- 
men, tho still more by Slavonic tribes. The powerful 
Teutonic Order of Knighthood, that controlled this work 
of colonization, eventually came into conflict on this ground 
with Poland, and was overthrown by the Poles in the great 
battle of Tannenberg on July 15, 1510, a conflict 
which remains a landmark in the eternal struggle between 
Teuton and Slav, and finds a prominent altho sinister place 
in German history. The rejoicings over Hindenburg's victory 
were therefore more than the joyful reception of news of a 
great military triumph. The battle of Tannenberg seemed 
to Germany to efface a bitter memory, and to compensate 
her for the grief of four hundred years. But great as the 
victory was, Hindenburg failed in his efforts to follow it up. 
The rec Lure of Lyck by the Russians afterward indi- 
cated that Germany over-estimated the results of her suc- 
cess. But Russia's route to Berlin via the north had now 
not only been barred, but her advance was turned into a 



retreat and General Rennenkampf was forced back to Allen- 
stein, altho every foot of the way was contested. Step by step 
he had to give up the results of his early victories. Finally 
Allenstein and Insterburg were in turn evacuated before the 
merciless pressure of the Geianans and the troops investing 
Konigsberg were recalled. Not until the frontiers were 
almost reached, when strong reinforcements came up, was 
a stop put to the German advance. 

The worst piece of ground in all Europe for military 
operations lies along the Russo-German frontier in East 
Prussia. For days at a time the opposing forces fought in 
marshes, often up to their necks in water, while field-gun 
after field-gun was engulfed in the mud. Few could realize 
the difficulties and hardships encountered by the troops in 
marching through this maze of forest, bog, and water. In 
the face of such obstacles, Hindenburg's victory over the 
Russians was thought especially brilliant. It was more than 
that; it was a striking example of the manner in which 
Germany had prepared for war and of the value of such 

As a consequence of defeat at Tannenberg, the whole 
Russian right under Rennenkampf had been compelled to 
evacuate East Prussia, and not until it passed the Niemen, 
did it recover from the effects of the disaster. Meanwhile, 
further German reinforcements reached the eastern frontier 
and important events were believed to be in store, heralding 
at no distant date another battle. Twenty-two German corps 
were concentrated in that territory, and the Kaiser arrived 
at headquarters. The obscure, retired soldier who had be- 
come in three weeks Germany's national idol was made a 
Field-marshal and entrusted with supreme command in the 
East. Hindenburg had achieved a brilliant success, but an 
under-estimate of the enemy was in some degree soon to 
neutralize it. The sequel to his East Prussian campaign 
restored for a time something of the prestige of Russian 
arms. When once on Russian soil the Germans no longer 
had at their disposal their own admirable system of strategi- 
cal railways. They could adapt their rolling stock to the 
different gage of the Russian system, but of railways this 
region had few. German troops, fatigued with hard march- 



ing, once the frontier was crossed, discovered that only a few 
of the main roads were practicable for heavy motor-trans- 
port. Most roads were nothing but beaten tracks, which had 
never t been macadamized, and in a wet autumn became im- 
passable sloughs of mud. Such causeways as existed were 
often narrow denies between lakes and swamps, where no 
army could deploy. To add to the misfortunes it rained 
heavily for three days, from September 27 to 30. 

The struggle which went on during the next week is 
generally known as the battle of Augustowo, where the 
chief physical feature of the region is an immense forest, 30 
miles long and 20 wide, on whose western edge lies Augus- 
towo. Intricate chains of lakes stretch on either side of 
the road from Suwalki to Seiny, begin again southeast of 
Seiny, and are found on either side of the road from Surino 
to the Niemen. It is not a country for rash adventure, as 
the Germans were here to learn in a lesson which the 
Russians had learned amid the Masurian lakes. Above all, 
the Niemen itself is a formidable obstacle, more than 200 
yards wide, too deep to ford, with bridges only at Grodno 
and Olita, and both fortified places. The right bank, which 
the Russians held, is high, and in some places might almost 
be called a cliff. The left bank, on which 'the Germans had 
to operate, is low, and, what was worse, in most places is 

The attempt to cross the Niemen was made simultaneously 
at two points. The more northernly of these was Drus- 
keniki, about 27 miles north of Grodno. Here on the morn- 
ing of September 25 the Germans constructed a pontoon 
bridge. The Russians on the steep right bank reserved their 
fire until a dense column of men was already on the bridge. 
Then, from cleverly screened positions, the Russian field- 
guns and machine-guns fell to work, and the bridge was" 
swept clean. German guns were soon brought into action 
and a long artillery duel followed. Thinking their artillery 
had at last silenced the enemy's fire, the German infantry 
crowded over the bridge, and met the same fate as their 
predecessors. It was said that thousands but perhaps only 
hundreds of Germans corpses floated down the river. A 
third attempt was then made, after an artillery duel, toward 



sunset, and with more determination and still heavier slaugh- 
ter. The Cossacks crossed at nightfall and pursued the 
Germans over a distance of eight miles. Two divisions 
were engaged in this attempt, and they are thought to have 
lost fully half their effectives. 

The rest of the operations which made up the Battle of 
Augustowo was little more than a German retreat along the 
few practicable roads, harassed by the fire of big guns, and 
pursued as occasion offered by cavalry. There was some 
hand-to-hand fighting in the forest, in which the Russians 


showed superiority with the bayonet and the grenade at 
close quarters. The decisive action was fought in the clear 
spaces around Augustowo, where the Germans had disposed 
themselves with considerable skill on three sides of a square, 
so as to command with cross-fire the exit from the forest. 
The Russians crossed the canal, executed a wide turning 
movement by the south, bombarded Augustowo from the 
west and northwest with heavy guns, and captured the town 
on the afternoon of October 1. Infantry prest on by the 
roads to Raczky and Suwalki, clearing the obstacles of 
barbed wire and felled trees as they went. 



The stroke at Augustowo was well planned. A week of 
hard fighting and hard marching had sent the invaders 
back to their own country, their Tannenberg glory a little 
diminished and their numbers reduced. Some of the credit 
belonged to General Ruzsky, some of it to the swamps and 
forests of Lithuania, but the real hero was the Russian 
infantryman. The crowning exploit at Augustowo was a 
march of 30 miles, with a bayonet charge at the end of it. 
The Germans forfeited strong positions in the depths of 
forests, but the Russians captured them successively, aided 
by artillery. The fighting here in a number of narrow 
places through* the woods and along the lakesides was a 
series of desperate encounters of necessarily small forces. 
The Russian heavy artillery shelled the German trenches 
with accuracy and effect, the ranges being well known to 
the gunners. The infantry completed the rout. The Ger- 
man losses were heavy, the ground offering but scanty op- 
portunities for escape. Rennenkampf had driven the Germans 
out of Russian territory. He had extended the Russian 
front along the border nearly a hundred miles and repulsed 
German attempts to force a passage of the Niemen. Four 
army corps were engaged on both sides, the Russians rein- 
forced from Vilna. Whole regiments of Germans were re- 
ported drowned in the Niemen, and to have lost their siege 
artillery. The Kaiser, who was present at this battle, was 
said to have escaped with difficulty. The weather was ap- 
palling a continual downpour. 

Forty-five miles south of Suwalki lay the Russian tempo- 
rary fortress of Osowiec, which the Germans attacked with 
heavy artillery, but failed to assault successfully. The ap- 
proach to Osowiec, by a narrow defile through impassable 
marsh and boggy forest lands, was peculiarly trying. The 
character of the ground compelled a frontal attack. The 
German retreat, therefore, lay solely through lands mostly 
undrained and boggy morasses which were practicable only 
in a time of heavy winter frosts. Through this awful 
region, under incessant and heavy rains, the Germans made 
their way for a dozen or fifteen miles before reaching any 
highroad. The railway embankment by which they ap- 
proached Osowiec from the south was no longer available, 



since they were retiring hastily northward. Of the num- 
bers involved there was no definite information, but they 
were very considerable, as the front extended from Mariam- 
pol to as far south as Vonzosh, which is about one mile 
south of Sczucyn and fourteen west of Osowiec. The points 
named as the extremities of the German front were eighty- 
four miles apart, so that an estimate made by experts prob- 
ably approximated the truth, namely, that the Germans put 
into the field for all those movements eleven or twelve army 
corps. The subsequent fighting was largely of a guerilla 
character, owing to the broken features of the whole coun- 
try. The German bombardment of Osowiefc appeared to 
have been futile as regards the fortress, but it did consid- 
erable injury to surrounding buildings of a non-military 
character, and destroyed the wireless and overhead telegraph 
installations. The fortress itself, which had modern case- 
mates and was bomb-proof, suffered little, and the losses 
of the garrison were infinitesimal. 

Osowiec proved to the German a more formidable obstacle 
than Liege. A place with impassable marshes before it 
can not, in the ordinary sense of the word, be besieged, 
and an assault along a single causeway would be an almost 
impossible and a costly operation. The defenders further 
improved a natural strong position by opening the sluices 
of the Bobr. The attack earned a peculiar distinction from 
the fact that, while it was in progress, first the Kaiser and 
then the Czar visited the opposing camps. The bombard- 
ment lasted for four days and nights without a respite. The 
last episode in the siege was a brilliant sortie by the gar- 
rison. Bodies of infantry, by following paths over swamps 
known only to the inhabitants, contrived to get behind the 
advanced German lines, both from left and right. Another 
body charged up the causeway, and before the Germans 
had recovered from their surprise, contrived to capture 
three of the guns, while the rest went hurriedly northward. 
This was the last event in the siege, the date being October 1. 
The Germans now abandoned the attempt not merely be- 
cause Osowiec had proved so unexpectedly obstinate, but 
because larger German operations against the Niemen mean- 
while had failed. A fortnight later the Russians were 



themselves pursuing a prosperous offensive over the road 
by which the Germans advanced, and were on German soil 
engaged in an attack on Lyck. It was just one hundred 
years since last the Russian Horse Guards had shed their 
blood on a battlefield at Friedland, which lies only a few 
marches beyond the scene Napoleon's Friedland, immortal- 
ized by Meissonier as well as Napoleon. 

Hindenburg's movement to the Niemen was premature. 
When he crossed the Russian frontier he left his railways 
behind him, and got out of reach either of reinforcements 
or supplies. His force was insufficient for the invasion of 


Russia, while his adversary had fallen back on reinforce- 
ments which were awaiting his arrival on the Niemen. When 
he saw his error he was quick to correct it, his retreat being 
a masterly achievement, which secured him possession of 
East Prussia with time to prepare for a future offensive. 

In the midst of the fighting around Augustowo, the 
name of St. Petersburg was officially changed to Petrograd. 
The whole Slav world hailed with exultation the decision 
that the capital of Russia should thenceforth bear a purely 
Russian name. To them the significance of the act was 
immense. It marked a deliberate breach with a tradition 


which had brought evil to their race. In spite of occasional 
quarrels, the Court and bureaucracy of Petrograd, ever 
since Russia first became a Great Power, had been largely 
under the influence of the Court and bureaucracy of Berlin. 
Each found its account in this relationship. Reactionaries 
on the Neva appealed to reactionaries on the Spree for 
countenance in oppressive features of internal policy, while 
the unprogressive Junkers looked to St. Petersburg for 
support. The alliance was based on a common desire to keep 
a people in subjection for the advantage of a small but 
powerful class, which arrogated to itself in both countries 
the exclusive privilege of rule. The step taken by the Czar 
was therefore a proclamation to the Slav race that this 
alliance was no more, and that his policy was henceforth a 
policy of "Russia for Russians," freed from any subserv- 
ience to Berlin. When, at this time, the Czar issued his procla- 
mation to the Poles of East Prussia he had already shat- 
tered the corner-stone of Russo-German friendship. That 
friendship had begun in the eighteenth century with the 
partition of Poland; it was nourished by Poland's oppres- 
sion and abasement, but it now ended with an Imperial 
promise of her resurrection. 

On October 8, after four days of constant fighting, the 
German army held a strategic and strongly entrenched posi- 
tion east of Wirballen, which lies north of Augustowo on 
the frontier behind Russia and East Prussia. That day a 
wave of Russian flesh and blood dashed against a wall of 
German steel, but the wall stood firm. The wave broke, 
was shattered, and then fell back. Broken bodies, wreckage 
of the wave, strewed the ground. A correspondent 3a described 
how he was "startled out of his reverie by a weird tooth- 
edging, spine-chilling, whistling screech overhead." The 
shell was from 500 to 1,000 feet above him and probably 
another couple of thousand feet beyond. For half an hour 
the German battery paid no attention to shells that were 
passing overhead and out of range. The Russians attempted 
to carry the German center by storm. For two days ar- 
tillery was hammering away at the opposing trenches. The 
marksmanship was bad. Twice under cover of field-artillery 

30 This anonymous account was printed in many newspapers at the time. 



the Russian infantry advanced in force, and twice were 
driven back to defensive positions. Again the Russian in- 
fantry came rushing forward and took up advanced posi- 
tions, awaiting the formation of the new and irregular 
battle-line. Dozens of 1 ght rapid-firers were dragged along 
by hand. Other troops, reserves, took up semi-advanced 
positions. All the while Russian shrapnel was raining over 
the German trenches. 

Finally came the order to advance. Hundreds of yards of 
the Russian fronting line leaped forward, deployed in open 
order and came on. One, two, three, and in some places 
four and five successive skirmish lines, separated by intervals 
of from twenty to fifty yards, swept forward. Some of them 
came into range of the German trench-fire almost at once. 
Then lines began to wilt and thin out, but others were 
able, to make a considerable advance under cover. The 
smoke of a burning village gave a grateful protection to 
several regiments. But on they came all along the line, 
protected and unprotected alike, rushing forward with a 
yell, pausing, firing, and advancing again. 

From the outset of the advance the German artillery, 
ignoring for the moment the Russian artillery action, began 
shelling the onrushing mass with shrapnel, which burst low 
above the advancing lines and tore sickening gaps. But the 
Russian line never stopt. For the third time in two days 
they came tearing on, with no indication of having been 
affected by the terrible consequences of the two previous 
charges. As a spectacle, the whole thing was maddening. 
The correspondent said he found his heart "thumping like 
a hammer, with no weapon more formidable than a pair of 
binoculars." He was "mentally fighting as hard as the 
men with the guns," ancl for the first time "sensed the 
intoxication of battle and learned the secret of smiles on the 
faces of the dead." On came the Slav swarm into the 
range of the German trenches, "with wild yells and never 
a waver." Russian battle-flags the first he had seen 
appeared in front of the charging ranks. 

Next day German artillery beat back the Russian advance. 
It was mostly an artillery encounter. The Russians did not 
have the German range. Their shells flew screamingly 1,000 



yards to the Germans left. The effect on a hillock was 
exactly as if a geyser had suddenly spurted up. A vast 
cloud of dirt, stones and grass spouted, and when -the debris 
cleared away a great hole was left. It was a queer sensation 
to peer through field-glasses and see Russian shells veer a 
few hundred feet to the right. The correspondent saw one 
strike a. windmill, shattering the long arms and crumpling it 
over in a slow burning heap. On the right wing was wit- 
nessed the last of the Russian infantry advance. The wave 
of Russians had swept nearly to the German trenches, sit- 
uated between two sections of field-artillery, and there been 
repulsed. Russians were lying in front of these pits, dead, 
dying or less seriously wounded, cut down by the terrible 
spray of German machine-guns. Strewn in the trenches 
were countless empty shells, the bullets of which had, as it 
appeared, slain perhaps thousands. There were hundreds of 
dead in the open field ahead. 

Early in November the Russians attempted again to break 
into East Prussia by an old route south of Wirballen, but 
were met by General von Morgen and driven back across 
the frontier. Strong Russian forces entered the province at 
Soldau in the extreme southern part of East Prussia, and 
entrenched themselves twelve miles within the border. South 
of the Vistula from Hieshawa to Kalisch the Germans at- 
tempted a counter-attack, partly in the 'hope of checking 
the pursuit which was pressing their retreat, but also to 
draw off the Russians from an advance that was proceeding 
in the direction of Malva-Soldau. From Kalisch to Stallu- 
ponen, the distance is two hundred and eighty miles, and 
over the whole line fighting was in progress. This line por- 
tended a possible envelopment of East Prussia, the occupa- 
tion of which was necessary for the development of further 
plans of the Grand Duke Nicholas. 

Throughout October and the early days of November the 
Russians and the Germans faced each other in entrenched 
positions, which followed approximately the line of the 
frontier. The Germans dug themselves in elaborately, with 
all the paraphernalia of wire entanglements, concealed gun- 
pits and deep trenches. They attacked the slighter Russian 
trenches every night in a sort of habitual routine, with 



the aid of their searchlights, but they evidently had no 
thought of advancing. The real fighting on the Eastern 
Front was now to be in Poland, and it is probable that Hinden- 
burg had transferred thither most of the first-line troops in 
East Prussia. 

The Russians held the same area with some vicissitudes 
throughout December, and no serious effort was made to dis- 
lodge them. The fortunes of war in this region were now 
fairly balanced. Hindenburg had indeed destroyed a Rus- 
sian army in a battle which was perhaps the most decisive 


victory, as it was in a military sense, the most brilliant 
performance, of the war thus far, but his error of judgment 
in attacking the lines of the Niemen went far to neutralize 
that fine exploit. For the Russians the battle of Augustowo 
had wiped out the memory of Tannenberg. At the end of the 
year they could congratulate themselves that they had once 
more carried the war into the enemy's country. 

Percival Gibbon 4 made a tour of the East Prussian 
battle-ground and of the Polish frontier in the middle of 

4 Correspondent of The Daily Chronicle (London). 



October. His route was from north of Suwalki southward 
to Graevo, a stretch of country that had been in German 
occupation but in which no German outpost then remained. 
Mr. Gibbon wrote: 

"It is stimulating to nerves troubled by a lack of news to see the 
Russian soldier in his habits as he lives and fights. I have seen many 
thousands of them camped in rain-swamped bogs or marching inde- 
fatigably over roads which are long quagmires of mud, always with 
an air of stolid contentment and a look of being bent on business. 
They include Baltic province men, speaking German with a strong 
flavoring, Jews from Riga-Libau brigaded with huge Siberians, 
whose marching must constitute a world record. The Cossacks weru 
past counting, and with them were long-coated, tight-belted Circas- 
sians and Kalmucks, all representing a mixture of races and lan- 
guages like that of the British Empire itself. 

"Actually the whole line is a battle-front, from the north of 
Wirballen to well into Poland, and no day passes without contact 
with the enemy. This is an army in which every man has fought. 
Most of them have been in hand-to-hand conflict with Germans. 
There is no village which does not bear the mark of wanton destruc- 
tion of life and property houses burned, others pillaged, and the 
contents dragged into the streets, and there smashed. Churches 
have been invariably gutted and defiled." 

At a time when the Kaiser in person was known to have 
command of the German army on this front, a Cossack one 
day came into a Russian camp, driving before him a plump 
but distrest Prussian captain whom he had captured during 
the day's work. "I've brought him," he announced "I 
knew him by his mustache," and then produced an old 
picture postcard from his breast, showing the Kaiser with 
his characteristic mustache. He really thought he had cap- 
tured the German Emperor. 5 

5 Principal Sources : Marr Murray's ''The Russian Advance," The London 
Times' "History of the War," The Independent (New York), The Standard 
(London), "Bulletins" of the National Gepgraphic Society (New York), "Nel- 
son's History of the War" by John Buchan, B. W. Norregaard in The Sun 
(New York), The Daily Mail (London) : The Times, The Evening Pout, New 
York ; The Morning, The Times, The Daily Chronicle, London ; William 
C. Dreher in The Atlantic Monthly (New York), Associated Press and United 
Press dispatches. 



Hotzendorf directed the Austrian defense of Galicia and afterward the 

operations in Italy 

V. VII 4 




August 25, 1914 September 27, 1914 

THEORETICALLY Austria, when the war began, could 
muster two and a half million men, and could jnvade 
Russia before Russia could complete her mobilization. To 
Austria had therefore been assigned the task of maintaining, 
for the first few months, the Teutonic cause in the East. 
Russian Poland was to be invaded, Warsaw captured and 
the Russian army kept at bay until the Germans, having 
conquered France, should arrive in the East and complete 
the work of overcoming Russia. The Czar had sent a rela 
tively weak army into East Prussia, his strong force being 
sent against Austria, in order to crush Austria's forward 
thrust from Galicia. Had Russia been able to drive a shat- 
tered Austrian army westward through the Carpathians, and 
so out of the field of future operations, the great bulk of 
the Russian army could then have moved west and north 
toward Berlin,, and such strength as remained to Austria 
would have had to be devoted to defenses eastward along 
the Carpathians and southward along the Danube. There- 
fore, in the east as well as in the west, a desperate game 
was played. While Germany was staking everything on 
success before Paris, Russia put all else in jeopardy, in 
order first to strike down an Austrian army that repre- 
sented the full measure of Hapsburg strength, an army 
which was the sole sustaining bulv^rk for a nation com- 
posed of divided loyalties and spe r many tongues. 

The war, as a contest between Slav and Teuton, was waged 
at first with Lemberg as the immediate and important 
objective. A victory there for Russia might prove as decis- 
ive for the Slav as Tannenberg four centuries before had 
been, when the Poles checked on that field the eastward 
march of the Germans. More vital to Germany for the 



time was this eastern struggle, for neither France nor 
England threatened Germany's actual existence, or sought 
her provinces, save Alsace-Lorraine. But Slav ambition 
coveted East Prussia and Silesia, and Posen lay at the gates 
of Berlin. In a total population of 53,000,000 in the Aus- 
trian confine, one-half were Slavs. With an army drawn 
from all her racial sources, Austria sought to invade Russia, 
the protector of Slavs, but as she saw a likelihood of trouble 


at home among her own Slavs, she took measures to meet 
it, and so when outbreaks occurred in Dalmatia, Bosnia, 
Croatia, and other Slav provinces of the empire, all men up 
to the age of fifty were mobilized, hostile newspapers were 
supprest, suspected clubs and societies dissolved, people for- 
bidden to leave towns and villages, and leaders among dis- 
contented Slavs seized and held as hostages. These measures, 
however, did not always crush the rebellious spirit. In 



Herzegovina some government officials were murdered and 
priests held as hostages were also killed. Acts of rebellion were 
everywhere followed by acts of reprisal. In the army, Slav 
regiments were kept separate from Teutonic ones, but thou- 
sands were said to have mutinied rather than fight against 
their brother Slavs. In some cases whole regiments refused 
to serve and were promptly punished. The mutinous spirit 
extended to Poland and Bohemia, where stern measures 
were resorted to and became effective, but at one time it 

caused the mobilization almost 
to break down, and this was 
when time was valuable to 
Austria, because Russian mob- 
ilization was pressing forward 
to completion. An Austrian 
invasian of Russia and a cap- 
ture of Poland became daily 
less likely of accomplishment. 
In spite of these difficulties 
the concentration of the First 
Army under General Dankl 
was sufficiently advanced by 
the second week of August to 
enable him to take the offen- 
sive. On the 10th his advance 
guards crossed the Galician 
frontier, and deployed on 
the right bank of the middle 
Vistula. No serious resistance 
was at first offered. Austria 

was allowed to advance almost to Lublin. At one time she 
came within 11 miles of the place. Meanwhile, on the line 
from Lublin to Kholm, Russia was massing an army or 
two armies cooperating as one under command of Generals 
Ewarts and Plehve, with General Ivanoff in supreme direc- 
tion of the combined force. The Russians had two railways 
behind them, one leading to Warsaw, the other to Kieff and 
Odessa. Every day, as the Austrians drew nearer, the 
Russian strength increased until, by the first days of Sep- 
tember, it probably amounted to upward of 400,000 men. 


Austrian commander on the 
Galician front early in the war 


Dankl now became aware that he had in front of him a 
worthy opponent. It was not in the Russian program to 
strike on this line at least, not yet. The Austrians saw 
themselves checked; they were definitely held up by forces 
at least as great as their own ; meanwhile the Russians under 
Ivanoff bided their time. 

General Ruzsky, however, had developed a rapid offensive 
movement against the Second Austrian Army, which was 
covering Lemberg under General Auffenberg. Ooi August 

14 Ruzsky occupied Sokal, and continuing his movement, 
succeeded in placing his own army between the two Austrian 
armies, while General Brusiloff, advancing up the left bank 
of the Dniester, reached the Tarnopol-Halicz line on the 
28th, and effected a junction with Ruszky, who was already 
threatening Lemberg from the northeast. Russian forces 
were soon to achieve successes which seemed at the time 
practically to eliminate the Austrian armies as serious fac- 
tors in the war. On September 1 two of the Russian gen- 
erals attacked Auffenberg simultaneously, rolled up both 
wings of his army, and on the 3d forced him to evacuate 
Lemberg and fall back on the Grodeck position a few miles 
west. On the same day Ruzsky entered the town. General 
Ivanoff, his concentration now completed, attacked Dankl on 
the 6th, and after a six-day battle defeated him near Rawa 
Ruska, taking 100,000 prisoners and an immense quantity 
of war material. Both Austrian armies fell back behind the 
San, and the Russians invested Przemysl. By September 

15 the whole of East Galicia was in Russian occupation, 
and Russian armies were threatening Krakow north and 
south of the 4 Vistula. 

The Russian plan had been simple; with superior num- 
bers, it aimed at enveloping the Austrians on both flanks. 
While Brusiloff, who in 1916 was to lead the great Russian 
offensive of that year, prest on Auffenberg 's right, Ruzsky 
hammered his left and center. After crossing the frontier 
between Brody and Sokal, Ruzsky had spread out on a 
wide front, his center pushing straight toward Lemberg, 
while his right, advancing almost due west, aimed to drive 
a wedge in between Auffenberg and Dankl, pressing with all 
his might on Aufficnberg's left. Meanwhile Ruzsky 's own 


left felt its way southward in order to effect a junction with 
Brusiloff, the Austrians falling back slowly in all directions, 
but resisting gallantly. On Ruzsky's right and center the 
fighting was severe with heavy losses on both sides. In his 
army were some of the best of the Russian first-line troops. 
Narratives of those who took part showed that the Russians 
attacked with recklessness and that the Austrians, altho 
continually overpowered, fought desperately. The attention 
of the western world was at this time engrossed in stirring 
events in France and Belgium, and little was recorded of 
operations in Galicia beyond mere statements of successive 
steps in the Russian advance. The impression created was 
that this advance had been easy, which was far from the 
truth. Ruzsky had a week of such stern fighting as at an- 
other time would have fired the world's imagination. He 
finally drove the Austrian center back to the Bug at 
Krasne and across the railway at Zlota. 

This was the preliminary stage of the Lemberg campaign. 
Auffenberg's Army as yet was not only not beaten but 
hardly shaken. It fell back into a strong and carefully 
prepared defense in front of Lemberg, stretching over a 
front of 70 or 80 miles, from near Busk in the north to 
Halicz on the Dniester in the south. To Brusiloff and his 
corps commander. General Radko Dmitrieff (the Bulgarian 
hero of Lule Burgas and Kirk Kilisse), belongs the honor 
of a brilliant operation by which the outcome of the battle 
was determined. After forcing the crossing of the Zlota 
Lipa on August 26, while his right wing made connection 
with Ruzsky in the north, Brusiloff 's left swung wide to the 
south as far as the valley of the Dniester, making an ex- 
traordinary march, the country being rough, devoid of rail- 
ways and almost destitute of roads. On August 30 the main 
body of this flanking force arrived before Halicz and on 
the following day the assault began with a furious and 
irresistible attack concentrated on a point near the little 
village of Botszonce. The condition of the field afterward, 
the ground being ploughed everywhere with shell-fire and 
strewn with fragments of projectiles and equipment, showed 
how desperate the struggle had been. The Russians seem 
to have carried through the final assault with the bayonet 



under cover of a torrent of shell-fire. By nightfall on 
August 31 a breach some kilometers wide had been made. 
Once the line had been pierced, the entire Austrian right 
gave way. A last stand seems to have been made in Bots- 
zonce which was quickly reduced to a heap of ruins, and the 
retreat of the Austrians became a flight. The road, strewn 
with abandoned guns, transports, and all the impediments 
of a defeated army, afterwards gave ample evidences of 
their haste. Around Botszonce and Halicz the Russians 
were said to have buried 4,800 Austrian dead, and captured 
32 guns, some of which had been mounted in positions where 
they never came into use. 

The general misery attendant on war was now intensified 
by a succession of storms with drenching rains, by which 
much of the country was flooded. The Russians suffered 
tremendous losses in two days of reckless charges against the 
Austrians, but appeared to have taken perhaps 60,000 
prisoners. Their lowest estimate of the Austrian losses, 
including killed, wounded, and prisoners, was 130,000. 
The Austrian army of defense had formed a semicircle 
facing north and east, with Lemberg in the center. After 
pushing his right wing toward the west, Ruzski formed 
another outer semicircle. When the Russian semicircle 
began to contract, it forced back the Austrian line with 
vise-like pressure in a battle lasting seven days in which 
the fighting was most stubborn. Every inch of ground was 
contested, the losses on both sides enormous. As days passed, 
the superiority of Russian artillery began to assert itself, and 
the Austrian fire weakened. At all points the Russians 
vere successful and on the seventh day the main Austrian 
force, five army corps, was driven back on the town itself 
with heavy losses. 

At half-past two in the morning the actual storming of 
the town began. The Austrians attempted to form again, 
but were thrown into confusion by repeated artillery and 
cavalry attacks. With their left driven in, their whole 
army was in danger of being surrounded. A searching fire 
was then directed at the center, which lay before the town, 
the object being to impede the retreat of the Austrians, now 
beaten on the right flank, and, if possible, to surround the 



town completely before its garrison could withdraw. In the 
hope of checking the Russian advance, the Austrians threw 
out a rear-guard screen of Slav troops with a backing of 
Magyars (Hungarians). The Russian commander, at the 
critical moment, opened a terrific artillery fire over the 
heads of the advancing Slavs and upon the retreating 
Austrians. This hail of projectiles set up a panic in the 
ranks of the Austrians, who, abandoning guns, ammunition 
and stores, broke into disorder, and fled along the road to 
Grodek. This was the decisive stroke of the battle. 

There was criticism at the time of the Austrian com- 
mander for failing to hold Lemberg. While the position 
that had been so stubbornly defended was over twelve miles 
to the east, the town itself, after the Austrian line was once 
broken, became indefensible. Brusiloff's pursuing army 
was sweeping to the west of the city and Ruzsky was 
already closing in from the north. Lemberg 's inner de- 
fenses were not such as to enable it to resist for long. To 
have attempted to hold out would only have been to meet 
bombardment and to sacrifice whatever troops were left to 
defend it. No defense of Lemberg being attempted, few 
retreating Austrians passed through the city. On Sep- 
tember 3 the Russians entered it without disturbance or 
excesses on the part of the troops. The Slav inhabitants re- 
ceived the Russians with demonstrations, shouting "Long 
live the army of our Russian liberators!" The progress of 
the Russian regiments .through the town became a kind of 
triumphal procession. 

Russia here achieved her first real triumph in the war. 
She had accomplished the first step on her desired route to 
Berlin the crushing of the military power of Austria. In ad- 
dition she had taken 637 guns, 44 quickfirers, several flags, 
and 60,000 prisoners, with stores of ammunition and pro- 
visions. These stores lightened considerably the strain on 
the Russian transport and commissariat departments. Lem- 
berg, being the capital of Galicia and the chief Austrian 
military center north of the Carpathians, contained an 
arsenal, railway, and other works useful to invaders. Roll- 
ing stock was perhaps the most important of all things cap- 
tured. Important also were the strategic results. At Lem- 


VII 48 


berg all means of communication converged. Eight rail- 
ways and as many roads connected it with- every point of 
civil and military importance north of the Carpathians. 
Thus it was an ideal base for operations in Galicia. It com- 
manded approaches to Przemysl on the west and to passes 
over the Carpathians leading to Vienna and Budapest on 
the south, and had railway connections with four points on 
the Russian frontier, which allowed direct communication 


with the military centers of Kief on the east and Warsaw 
on the north. 

These operations in Galicia and Poland were fought on the 
same vast scale as those in western Europe. They extended 
along a front of 200 miles. In point of numbers engaged 
also the Galician and Polish operations were equal to those 
in France. Conditions in the east and west being therefore 
more or less equal, Russia's victory was the first and only 
decisive engagement thus far won by any of the Allied 
armies preceeding as it did by a few days the battle of the 
Marne. The fall of Lemberg was -announced on September 
1, when 60,000 Austr:ans were said to have been captured, 



and 50,000 killed or wounded. Five of the eight non-Slav 
corps which made up the Austrian army were said to have 
been crusht. The Austrian left, which had been moving on 
Lublin, was "in the air," and had to turn back fighting, in 
order to get to cover at Przemysl and Jaroslav, but it, too, 
met with disaster. 

At Lemberg, anciently, and now to be called by the 
Russians Lvov, the fighting lasted over a fortnight, of which 
the last eight days were an uninterrupted action, extending 
over a front of nearly 300 miles. The city had more than 
200,000 inhabitants. Many private houses were filled to 
overflowing with Austrian sick and wounded, who had been 
abandoned to the Russians. The Russian attack was so 
swiftly pushed home that everything was found intact. 
Over 200 guns were taken. The Russian force not only 
commanded the roads, railways, and waterways, in all direc- 
tions, but was strongly established in the rear of the main 
Austrian armies. Galich, or Halicz, on the Dniester, which 
the Russians also occupied, was only second in importance 
to Lemberg. It commanded another series of roads, rail- 
ways, and waterways, and was defended by thirty forts. 
Some of the hardest fighting in the conflict took place 
around Halicz. The Austrians here tried desperately to turn 
the Russian left flank. At Halicz, in 1917, the Russians, 
under Korniloff, won their last victory over Teutonic forces. 

The establishment of Russian authority in this region was 
facilitated by the native population, which, being Slav, wel- 
comed the Russians after they had made good their advance. 
The whole region, like Eastern Prussia, was anciently Slav. 
Practically all the names were still Slav. Prisoners, the 
number of whom did not become known, guns, including 
mitrailleuses, the number of which was first stated as 2,000. 
then as 1,200, but later stated officially as 2,000, and 30,000 
rations for one day, were only parts of the booty taken at 
Lemberg and Halicz. The Russians had entered Lemberg 
while the Austrians were still in flight, leaving the ground 
in places strewn with abandoned equipment, clothes, rifles 
and ammunition. Some officers had thrown away their 
swords. Wounded were abandoned on the field of battle. 
Hospitals and houses in the town became full of them. 



Ambulances were used as vehicles to escape in. The Russians 
now had 2,000,000 men actually in the field, and their huge, 
machine of mobilization was grinding out fresh brigades. 

As the story of the fourteen days' battle shaped itself, 
its outstanding feature was the high quality of the Russian 
infantry. For two weeks they had thrust themselves at the 
Austrian line, which extended from Komenka to Halicz, 
Ruzsky being in command on the north, and Brusiloff on 
the south. The latter had for his objective the junction of 
the Guile Lipa, and Dniester rivers, where the Austrians 
held a bridgehead which presently became the key to 
Halicz. It was here on September 3 that the great diffused 
battle narrowed itself down to a real struggle. This was 
almost entirely a battle of infantry, who advanced across 
low-lying levels in which lay the big Galician village of 
Podhajeco, against a "huge body of Austrians strongly en- 
trenched and covered by forces of artillery. The dispositions 
of the latter had already been disturbed by the previous 
day's artillery attack. The discipline and steadiness of the 
Russian infantry under terrific fire were spoken of by 
observers as beyond praise. Witnesses of their behavior, in 
Galicia or in Prussia, remarked on their sobriety, their level 
bearing, and their equanimity of temper. In the earlier for- 
ward movement, with a massed attacking force in wooded 
lands east of the river, they lost heavily, but, in spite of 
this and of the fact that they had already been in action 
almost continuously for two weeks, their first actual assault 
carried them into the Austrian position. 

With the loss of Lemberg the position of the Austrians 
became critical. Their left directed a hot attack between 
Lublin and Kholm, but they were beaten back. The Tenth 
Corps lost 5,000 prisoners in this attempt to break through 
the Russian defenses, and the rest were compelled to retire. 
Great was the Russian estimate of losses (more than 35 per 
cent, of the Austrian armies participating), but this was 
considered extravagant, even when keeping in mind the fact 
that the battles in Galicia covered three weeks. History, 
however, records greater proportionate losses in other cam- 
paigns. At Borodino, where Napoleon met them in 1812, 
the Russians lost 50 per cent, of their men. All the roads 



in the Galician field were congested and blocked by com- 
missariat trains abandoned by the Anstrians in their flight. 
Thousands of wagons were captured and hundreds of gun- 
limbers taken. 

Victories on the Marne in France at the beginning of Sep- 
tember had checked the German advance on Paris, and made 
necessary the shifting of German troops. It was in the 
same eventful week that Lemberg fell. Galicia was soon de- 
scribed as "a Russian province," save only for Jaroslav 
and Przemysl, toward which fortress the shattered Aus- 
trian armies of Auffenberg, Dankl, and their German allies 
had fled. Dispatches from Austrian sources denied Russia's 
success and claimed notable successes for Austrian troops, 
altho they were known to have been greatly outnumbered. 
Count Berchtold, the Austrian Foreign Minister, explained 
that the Austrian retreat before superior numbers had been 
made for the purpose of securing a more favorable position, 
preparatory to new actions; headway had really been made 
against both the Russians and the Serbians. The Neue Freie 
Presse of Vienna was quoted as saying, after the fall of 
Lemberg, that "the high moral quality of the Austrian and 
Hungarian troops must eventually prove victorious." 
Despite those assurances that the Austrian retreat was 
merely tactical, outside observers were almost unanimous in 
regarding Austria's .position as desperate. Rumors of 
financial troubles and internal dissensions gave color to this 
view, as did vague intimations that Austria was ready to 
discuss peace terms independent of her ally, Germany. 
Within ten days optimistic military observers predicted that 
Cossacks and Serbian cavalry would "meet on the plains of 
Hungary and move on Budapest." 

Meanwhile, during the last days of August and the first 
of September, there had been some confused fighting be- 
tween detached forces on the northern frontier of Galicia 
forty miles from Lemberg. In Berlin and Vienna official 
claims were made to successes, which a semi-official state- 
ment from 'Petrograd declared untrue. Out of a mass of 
claims and counter-claims, all that emerged clearly was that 
the Russian wedge had been successfully advanced to 
T^maszow, where the Austrians suffered a defeat, con- 


temporary reports asserting that among the slain were two 
generals. From here the Austrians seem to have fallen back 
westward to the swampy country about .Belgoraj and on 
Tarnogrod. The situation became so critical that it was 
necessary for Dankl either to .break through the Russian de- 
fense or fall back. A desperate effort to pierce the wall of 
resistance in south Poland between Lublin and Kholm was 
made, the Tenth Austrian Army Corps leading the attack 
against a weaker portion of the Russian line. It had reached 


to within eleven miles of Lublin when beaten back. In the 
retirement some 5,000 prisoners were left in Russian hands. 
While Auffenberg's army was holding its position before 
Lemberg, there had, indeed, been prepared a new line of 
defense in its rear, which ran from Grodek to Rawa-Ruska, 
and thence, apparently, along the railway line toward Narol. 
It was a fine achievement on the part of an army which had 
been handled as roughly as this had been, to pull itself to- 
gether at once after a precipitate flight and resolutely take 
up this new position. Immediately after the capture of 



Lemberg, fighting was resumed first around positions into 
which the Austrians had retreated, or been driven, at 
Grodek. The extreme north of the line began first to give 
way. The Austrians were unable to make any prolonged 
stand here. Russians, besides attacking furiously from in 
front, proceeded to envelop their left. Fighting went on 
confusedly over a wide area, in a broken and marshy coun- 
try. At several places considerable numbers of Austrian 
prisoners were taken. Long afterward Russians found 
Austrian guns and batteries entangled in swamps. The 
upper part of the Austrian line was forced back, fighting 
desperately as it went, until the whole line became doubled 
back on itself at an acute angle from Rawa-Ruska where 
the fighting became terrific. 

It was not often on the vast, extended front of a modern 
battlefield one could put a finger on any point and say: 
"Here the battle was decided," but in this battle on the 
Grodek line Rawa-Ruska was such a point. One could even 
pick out a bit of land, only ten acres in extent, which was 
the key to the entire position. As the battle developed the 
importance of this small area became accentuated. It is 
probable that, in the whole war, there had been no more 
bitter and furious fighting in so small an area. The de- 
fense did not have a front exceeding six, or at most eight 
miles, and yet it was said that for eight days, perhaps 
as many as 250,000 men fought on that ground con- 
tinuously night and day. For eight days Russian infantry 
assaulted and stormed against the heights that defended the 
angle. In a single mile the Austrians made stands at eight 
distinct points. Some of these were taken and retaken 
several times before they were evacuated, but evacuation 
then meant only a retreat of a few hundred yards to be fol- 
lowed by a more determined resistance. 

Once it became evident that this was the strategic center 
of the whole conflict, the Russians, day after day and inch 
by inch, drove back the Austrians until they got them into 
a deep trench on the slopes of the crest of the final ridge of 
hills defending the town. The last trench was not above 
400 yards in front of their own guns. The Russians had 
been quite unable to make any headway against it until 



they massed there a number of batteries of heavy field- 
howitzers. Then they slowly destroyed with their big shells 
the entire front. It was possible to read the evidence 
of this operation afterward, not in the trenches, for it was 
hard to see where they were, but in an unbroken line of 
shell-holes, each ten feet across and five feet deep, which 
extended for hundreds of yards along the former Austrian 
line. A man could walk for nearly half a mile, stepping 
from one crater to another, while the ground in and be- 
tween and all around was strewn with shreds and patches 
of blue uniform, fragments of equipment and relics of 
humanity. Here was a clenched hand, there a foot sticking 
out of a boot, and, again, a soldier's overcoat ripped into 

The result of these operations awakened sympathy for 
Dankl's army and admiration for it. In some ways its fate 
was compared to that of the British when falling back from 
Mons. The spectacle of the retreat was made the more 
dreadful because of its size. The front, on which lay an 
army of something over 300,000 men, extended approxi- 
mately for 80 miles. As it fell back, with the left wing 
hemmed in by the river Vistula and the right subject to 
continuous pressure from Russian forces on the east, this 
front continually contracted. By the time it reached the 
San, the crossing of which, so far as the bulk of the force 
was concerned, had to be made on four or five bridges at 
different points, the front had contracted to less than 40 
miles. Such a movement might easily have degenerated 
into a panic, accompanied by slaughter, until the whole army 
was either obliterated or had surrendered. Dankl received 
credit for escaping a final catastrophe, however serious his 
losses may have been. 

As the Germans, after the battle of the Marne, went north 
until they secured firm ground on the Aisne, so the Aus- 
trians, after their defeat at Lemberg and Rawa-Ruska, 
seeking a defensive field, found one behind the San, some 
seventy miles west of Lemberg. Flowing north from the 
Carpathians to the Vistula, straight across the whole 
province of Galicia, the San, which is a large stream, sup- 
plied them with a good barrier. Both flanks of their army 



standing behind the San were protected on the south by 
the Carpathians, on the north by the Vistula flowing east 
from Krakow. Not only was this position on the San 
naturally strong, but in the center were two fortresses, sur- 
rounded by detached forts, Jaroslav and Przemysl. Re- 
treating from Rawa-Ruska, Lemberg, and Halicz, the Aus- 
trians, on finding reinforcements at these points, could hope 
to make a second and more successful fight, provided the 
morale of their armies had not been too much shaken. But 
the ensuing fall of Jaroslav (on September 23) was to 
demonstrate that Russian descriptions of the Austrian re- 
verses had not been wholly exaggerated. 

By September 20, the Austro-German armies had been 
rounded up in an area enclosed by the double turn of the 
San at Przemysl and its confluent, the Vislok. The area is 
rectangular in shape, extending thirty-two miles east and 
west and sixteen north and south, the corner points being 
Przemysl, Jaroslav, Rozozoff, and Dynow. In theory, the 
passage of the San by an army invading Austria should have 
been almost impossible. The Austrians had spent immense 
sums in an endeavor to make it so. The upper, or southern, 
part was protected by Przemysl and Jaroslav. Thence a 
light railway, built purely for strategic purposes, ran 
parallel and close to its left bank almost to its confluence 
with the Vistula. At various places, as the Austrians fell 
back, they had destroyed bridges behind them. Had they 
destroyed all the bridges, the first army would have had at 
least a few days' rest. But the Russians, in their pursuit, 
were too swift. By a brilliant stroke they rushed, captured, 
and made good their hold on the bridge of Krzeszov, a few 
miles w r est of Tarnogrod. In the figurative words of an official 
communique from Petrograd, the Russian soldiers "leapt 
across the river on the very shoulders of the retreating 

As early as September 17 a Russian official statement had 
put the Austrian losses, since the taking of Lemberg, as high 
as 250,000 killed and wounded, and 100,000 prisoners, with 
400 guns, many colors, and a "vast quantity of stores." The 
rifles captured were said to number nearly half a million. 
What the total losses on the Austrian side were in the whole 



campaign there was no way of knowing. In all, the Aus- 
trians probably put into the field, including later reinforce- 
ments, both Austrian and German, from 1,000,000 to 1,200,- 
000 men. They may have lost in killed, wounded, and 
prisoners, somewhere -near 400,000. Official Russian esti- 
mates placed their losses at from 35 to 50 per cent, of their 
total force. The Russian losses were also heavy, but 
Russians said that, in the whole campaign, they did not 
much exceed 100,000. 

The Russians now undertook to bombard Jaroslav with 


siege-guns and to invest the fortress of Przemysl. The 
latter had been cleared of all its civilian population, an ex- 
ception being made only of such as proved themselves in 
possession of three months' food supplies. Three German 
army corps, or rather the remnants of three, minus most of 
their artillery munitions and equipment, were enclosed with 
the Austrians in a triangle between rivers. Jaroslav was put 
under bombardment and the town reported at one time to 
be in flames. It fell on September 23. The Austrians then 

V. VII 5 



gave up, not merely the line of the San river, but the rail- 
road from Krakow to Przemysl. They had not recovered 
sufficiently to defend a position ten times as strong naturally 
as that which the German army in France had been able to 
hold six days after they withdrew from the Marne to the 
Aisne. Having possession of Lemberg, Jaroslav and some 
other towns of importance, and all the railways operating 
between them the Russians were masters of eastern Galicia. 
They controlled the oil-fields and the agricultural output of 
the rich Galician plains. Cavalry were already inspecting 
approaches to the Carpathians, from the Dukla Pass to 
Bukowina. Przemysl alone held out, but they moved forward 
slowly. If Krakow could be reached they would be at the 
frontier of Germany^; for Krakow was the sentinel of Silesia 
and Krakow was almost in sight. Even if Przemysl should 
hold out for a time longer, its fate seemed as certain as 
that of Maubeuge in northeastern France had been earlier 
in September. Once Przemysl had fallen, the Russian left 
flank would have been solidly planted on the Carpathians 
and the march to Berlin could perhaps have begun. 

Well into December Przemysl held as firm as a rock. The 
place was apparently impregnable, and promised never to be 
taken, except after a terrific struggle and the sacrifice of 
thousands of lives. Not only was Przemsyl prepared for an 
extended siege, but the Austrians on the frontier were in- 
trenched in the best possible positions. There was incessant 
firing from Austrian batteries. The terrible roar of heavy 
guns never for an instant ceased. When, at daybreak, the 
Russians began to shell the Austrian defenses, and rained 
steel throughout the day, they were answered shot for shot. 
Reports that the morale of the Austrian army was broken 
and that its ranks were being thinned by the ravages of 
cholera, were untrue. Everywhere their determination to 
hold Przemysl to the last man was evident. It did not seem 
that the powerful fortifications could be taken, "except after 
an extended siege." 

Besides its strength as a fortress, Przemysl was a veritable 
garden city, set round with orchards and flowers, with a his- 
tory reaching back into the tenth century. In the town and 
its environs, in 1914, was a civil population of about 50,000, 



chiefly Poles and Ruthenians, who lived together in amity 
and with religious toleration. In September, when the vic- 
torious Russian advance swept all resistance before it, there 
was said, in official reports from Vienna, to be an army of 
80,000 men based on Przemysl, under command of one of the 
best Austrian generals. The Russians took it for granted that 
the stronghold eventually would fall. Allied newspapers around 
the world said that its fate was sealed. But stores of all 
kinds had been poured into it, and preparations made for 


a long resistance. It was said to have provisions enough to 
last until May, 1915, and in General Kusmanek a commander 
who had no inclination to leave the place. The first in- 
vestment was made complete by September 26. "When the 
Russians called on the fortress to surrender, Kusmanek re- 
plied that he would not even discuss the subject until all 
powers of resistance had been exhausted. An effort was then 
made to carry the place by storm, but it was a costly ex- 
periment. The Russians finally gave up that attempt and 



settled down to a regular investment until such time as 
heavy siege-guns could be brought up and the way prepared 
for a more vigorous assault. The real bombardment did not 
begin until early in March, 1915. 

The struggle in Galicia and the Bukowina had resolved 
itself, from the Russian point of view, into two objects 
the first to reach Krakow, at the western extremity of 
Galicia, possession of Krakow being an imperative prelude 
to an invasion of Silesia and Posen, or to march southward 
through the Moravian Gate upon Vienna; the second, to 
secure the passes of the Carpathians, which would give ac- 
cess to Hungary. The Russians were anxious from the out- 
set to bring pressure to bear on Hungary, hoping thereby to 
force Austria to conclude a separate peace. This possibility 
was widely entertained in England, in quarters where con- 
ceptions of the Magyar attitude were based on romantic and 
quite misleading impressions that had come down from the 
days of Kossuth. After the war had been in progress for 
some time, it was more generally realized that the Magyars 
were largely responsible for the Austro-Hungarian policy, 
and that their inclination probably was to stand or fall with 
Vienna. The steady growth in the influence of Count Tisza, 
the Hungarian Prime Minister, who was soon to become the 
most powerful man in the monarchy, confirmed this conclu- 
sion. Tisza, at the end of the war, was assassinated. 

The real reasons why Przemysl was able to offer so pro- 
longed a resistance was that the Russians were at first short 
of heavy siege-artillery, and still more so of shells. Their 
ultimate objective was not Przemysl but Krakow, and that 
city was surrounded by a ring of six powerful forts on both 
sides of the Vistula. The total length of the perimeter, how- 
ever, was comparatively small and so it was not believed 
that Krakow could withstand a prolonged siege. Early in 
December the Russians were driving near the city from the 
north. Their cavalry had been actually within five miles of it on 
the south, when Hindenburg's second fierce rush on Warsaw 
compelled a hurried shortening of the Russian line. When 
Hindenburg fought his way to the Bzura river and dug him- 
self in, he was aiming, among other things, at the salvation 
of Krakow, and, therefore, of Silesia. Krakow is the heart, 



soul, and nervous center of Polish life. Many cherished 
souvenirs of Polish history are preserved in its museums. 
Its ancient university and its Academy of Science are twin 
centers of Polish thought. Polish literature, music, and 
decorative arts have taken their inspiration from Krakow. 
There are any number of historic buildings within the 
inner, or old, city which link the Pole intimately with his 
past and keep him saturated with nationality. Kings and 
heroes of his nation are buried there in the Stanislaus 


cathedral, a heavy structure of the sterner Gothic style, 
which, from a rocky eminence, dominates the city. 

After Russia's extraordinary success in conquering so 
much of Galicia, Germany sent large forces to her Silesian 
frontier in order to save Krakow. The routed Austrian 
armies were in flight toward Krakow, and had lost all 
semblance of an effective military force. The Russians had 
gone in pursuit, adding to the disorder in which not only 
divisions and brigades but even individual regiments, were 



mixed up. In fact, the forces of Austria had been reduced 
to such disorganization that almost every man seemed to be 
seeking safety for himself. Captures of prisoners, guns, 
and military stores were still being made. The garrison 
of Przemysl was said to be in a state bordering on mutiny; 
at any rate, it contented itself for a time with an attitude 
of passive resistance, but finally attempted a sortie, which, 
however, was beaten back. 

It was sixty-six years since the last Russian force had 
crossed the Carpathians and descended into the rich plains 
of Hungary. But on that occasion Russian armies entered 
Hungary on a friendly errand, and in response to a personal 
appeal, made in his youth by the Emperor Francis Joseph, 
who had journeyed to Warsaw to meet the Czar Nicholas I 
in furtherance of this purpose. Russian armies soon crusht 
the Hungarian revolt, and saved to Francis Joseph his 
throne. Now, under another Nicholas, Russian armies were 
threatening to enter Hungary to free it from the yoke of 
Austria, to overthrow the same throne and dynasty that 
Russia had saved in the revolution of 1848. The Russians 
expected again to enter Hungary by the same passes and the 
same roads as those followed by the Czar's armies sixty-six 
years before. 

Russia's success endangered Germany's province of 
Silesia, an invasion of which from Krakow would have pre- 
sented few difficulties. Silesia, half the size of Ireland, is 
the largest province in Prussia. It contained, in 1914, 
a million Poles, mostly settled near the frontier, and was 
the greatest manufacturing and mining district of eastern 
Germany. Silesia was thrust out like a wedge between 
Russia and Austria. While one of the richest divisions of 
Germany, its industrial advantages did not compare with 
those of lands along the lower Rhine. Wealth was not so 
evenly distributed there as in many other parts of the coun- 
try. Silesia had vast estates, rich mines and great factory 
plants, owned by a few wealthy men, while the laboring 
classes were composed of the very poor. This was in part 
accounted for by the enormous seasonal influx of pauper 
labor that took place from Russian Poland and Galicia. 
Especially did Polish men and women compete in Silesia 



for work as agricultural laborers. They regularly swarmed 
across the border in seed-time and harvest and in a few 
cents of daily German pay found an opportunity for better 

A glance at the map would show why Krakow should have 
played a vital part in the war. A hundred miles west the 
mass of the western Carpathians, the High Tatra, breaks 
down into the plains through which the river March flows 
to the Danube. These plains, between the Carpathians and 
the Bohemian mountains, constitute the famous Gap of 
Moravia, the old highway from Austria to north Germany. 
Through this gap the army of Kutusof had marched in 
1805 to find its doom at Austerlitz. Through this gap runs 
the railway which connects Silesia with Vienna. The gen- 
eral who could master Krakow had a clear and easy road 
before him to the Austrian capital. Not less was it the 
key to Germany. Forty miles west of Krakow is the 
Silesian frontier. Seventy miles from the city flow the 
upper streams of the Oder. An army which could enter 
Germany by that route would turn the line of the frontier 
fortresses of Thorn and Josen, the system of. lateral frontier 
railways, and the great defensive position on the Warta. 
It would have before it only Breslau, which had limited de- 
fenses, and the old second-class fortress of Glogau. The 
capture of Krakow would have meant more than an open 
road to Berlin and Vienna. It would have involved an 
immediate blow at the heart of Germany through one of her 
chief industrial centers. That was why so much importance 
was attached to the Russian movement. 

After the disaster of Rawa-Ruska there had been a 
drastic overhauling of the Austrian commands. Dankl and 
Auffenberg were under a cloud. The supreme command 
could no longer be left in the hands of the Archduke 
Frederick. The Chief of Staff, Hoetzendorff, was also out 
of favor at German headquarters. Accordingly all the 
Austrian forces were placed under Hindenburg, with the 
Archduke Frederick as a kind of sub-generalissimo ; and 
German staff officers were assigned to the Austrian armies. 
The Teutonic movement had been everywhere slow till Hin- 
denburg arrived from East Prussia to take command, which 



fact was sufficient to convince the Grand Duke Nicholas and 
his staff that they would soon ha\. to meet the long-awaited 
German offensive in Poland. The curtain was rising 011 the 
great second act of the Eastern drama, when battle between 
the Teuton and the Slavs was to reach the very gates of 
Warsaw. 6 

8 Principal Sources : Marr Murray's "The Russian Advance," The London 
Times' "History of the War' 1 ; The Literary Digest, The Independent, New 
York ; The Morning Post, The Daily Chronicle, London ; The Time*, The Sun, 
"Bulletins" of the National Geographic Society, New York ; "Nelson's History 
of the War" by John Buchan ; Associated Press and United Press dispatches. 








September 27, 1914 December 30, 1914 

DURING the last week of September the Russian ad- 
vance in Galicia, after almost incredible exertions, but 
with its immediate objective achieved, had spent itself in 
momentary exhaustion. For a few days the Russian tide 
stood at flood or until September 27 when the first move- 
ment of an Austro-German counter-offensive began, the 
object aimed at being the reduction of Poland its isolation 
and lopping off from the main body of Russia, from which 
it boldly projected itself into Prussia and athwart Galicia, 
"like a fist thrust into a pillow." Had the early Teutonic 
northern operations by Germans from East Prussia, and the 
southern by Austrians from Galicia, succeeded, the Teutonic 
armies should have effected a junction somewhere on the 
eastern border of Russian Poland in the Litovsk-Bialystok 
region, and so, having all Poland in their hands, would 
have had, as a base for further advances, a continuous front 
on a straight line from the Baltic to the Carpathians. But 
these operations did not succeed; they failed in the north 
after Tannenberg and they had now failed in the south. 
With her right hand and her left hand Russia had held 
two enemies at bay. The next Teutonic move took the form 
of a direct thrust in the center of the line. This meant 
a thrust at the heart of Poland, which was Warsaw. 

The alternative which confronted Poland when the war 
began was critical. To have remained true to Russia and 
resisted a Teutonic invasion, could have meant only desola- 
tion to her land and people ; hostile armies would have over- 
run her and made her a vast battlefield. Had the Poles 
consulted their immediate material interests, they would 
have thrown themselves into German arms. To Poland came 



the same dilemma as to Belgium, and like the Belgians, the 
Poles chose what the Allies regarded as the loyal part. The 
weight of Polish opinion had already been strongly against 
giving aid to Austro-German forces, when on August 14 
there came from Russia the proclamation which definitely 
crystalized Polish sentiment in loyalty to Russia. From a 
private telegram coming through Copenhagen news of the 
Czar's offer of autonomy to Poland reached western Europe. 
It took the form of a manifesto issued by the Grand Duke 

Even among patriotic Poles the hope of recovering na- 
tional independence had up to that time been faint and 
visionary. War, however, had always presented for Russia 
new necessities, if not new opportunities. The Crimean War 
led her to emancipate the serfs; the Japanese War to estab- 
lish the beginnings of parliamentary institutions. When 
the Russian advance on Austria and Germany began, it was 
inevitable that the Poles, from the Baltic to the Carpathians, 
would receive from Russia inducements affecting their des- 
tiny and, as Horace has put it, the word once spoken spread 
abroad and "could not be recalled." It set millions of weary 
hearts beating anew. The act was in some quarters regarded 
as one of the great master-strokes of military history. Un- 
speakable joy reigned, especially in the Polish colony of 
Paris, where family groups of Poles gathered to celebrate 
the news and many pious Polish women went to their 
mission-church to offer up prayers. The action of Russia 
was in line with those natural and racial aspirations which 
had been at the basis of most European wars since the map 
of Europe was reconstructed on a dynastic basis after 
Napoleon's fall. From the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to 
the Treaty of Bucharest in 1913 wars in Europe had been 
provoked by the longings of men of the same race to 
achieve national unity. As the French Revolution carried 
the gospel of democracy and equality from Madrid to 
Moscow, so each succeeding European conflict after 1815 
exprest the aspirations of men who spoke the same tongue, 
shared the same culture, and were born to the same racial 
unity. Serbia, Greece, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Roumania, 
Germany, Bulgaria, have each acquired a place on the map 



only after wars which have made up the martial history of 
Europe in the nineteenth century. Danzig, Konigsberg and 
all Prussia east of the Vistula, might logically be included 
in a new Poland, together with half of that Silesia which 
a Prussian King appropriated from Austria a century and a 
half ago. 

What Napoleon promised, and could not quite bring him- 
self to do, Nicholas II now undertook to achieve. Obviously 
his Polish proclamation was intended to assist in disrupting 
Austrian armies and to stimulate treason in Prussian forces. 
Poland restored, even with its frontiers confined to areas 


where the Polish language was spoken, would give Europe 
a new state with nearly 25,000.000 inhabitants. It would 
take from Germany three provinces and deprive Austria of 
half her population, if to the freeing of the Poles there 
should be added the logical work of liberating all Slavs, so 
that a large part of the Austrian Empire, if not the whole 
of it, would disappear from the map of Europe. There 
would then appear at least three new Slav states, Poland, 
Bohemia, and Serbo-Croatia. To Slavdom would be added 
not fewer than 30.000.000 Slavs, bound by ties of race, re- 



ligion and common hatred of Teutonic governments. Such 
in its wider aspects was the meaning of the rescript of the 
Czar. In it was found much warrant for the German asser- 
tion that at bottom the present war was a struggle between 
Slav and Teuton. 

On October 4, the Czar, with a small suite, embarked for 
the theater of war on the Galician front. Russian Emperors 
on other great occasions had joined their armies in the field. 
The Japanese war was not an exception, inasmuch as it 
hardly ranked for Russia as dignus vindjce twdus; even the 
Russian Guard took, no part in it. Now, however, matters 
were different, and Nicholas II following the traditions of 
his house, greeted his gallant troops amid actual scenes of 
action. Whatever might be said for or against a sovereign's 
presence in a theater of w r ar, resolved itself finally into a 
question of how that presence, so inspiring to every soldier, 
could be utilized in the cause for which the nation fought. 
Nicholas II took no- court with him. He went as the supreme 
head of Russia's fighting forces to mark with imperial ap- 
proval deeds of the past and to encourage men to greater 
efforts in future. He had not been exactly a "War Lord," 
tho he commanded the largest army on earth ; nor would his 
appearance on the scene of conflict alter one jot of the 
strategic schemes of war specialists were engaged in devising. 
But it was known that, after seeing in person their "Little 
Father," every Russian soldier would be doubled in fight- 
ing power, and every commanding officer assured that his 
efforts would not go unnoticed. The imperial visit, made as 
it was without ceremony, but with a business-like eye to 
essentials, stiffened confidence in the Russian army. 

Hindenburg, seeing that a stalemate had been reached in 
East Prussia, which might continue through the winter, and 
conscious at last that that province was a self-contained area, 
in which no amount of German success would affect the 
critical Galician position, resolved to stake everything on a 
blow at the Russian center. If he could take Warsaw be- 
fore the autumn ended, he would have ideal winter quar- 
ters; a base pushed far into the enemy's territory from 
which he could advance in the spring. His advance became 
slow and deliberate, more like the occupation of a territory 



already won than an attack against an unbroken enemy. 
As he made progress, he constructed roads, which were 
destined to exist for a few weeks only. Great stretches of 
forest were cut down, and the felled trunks used to make 
corduroy paths over marshes. In the worst places artillery 
causeways were built, but they were soon blown to pieces by 
the Russians. The gage of the Kalisz-Lodz-Warsaw railway 
was altered and many new miles completed each day. 

The fight for Warsaw began on October 16 and continued 
till the evening of the 19th. Hindenburg had probably five 
army corps massed for the attempt, and was present in 
person. The brunt of the Russian resistance fell to the 
Siberian corps, who had just arrived. by rail from Moscow. 
The Grand Duke Nicholas was also much assisted by batteries 
of heavy guns some said as many as thirty served by 
Japanese gunners, which Japan had sent across by the 
Siberian railway. During the first day the issue hung in the 
balance ; but the Russians established an unshakable trench 
position a few ? miles beyond the outer forts, and next day 
the attack died away. The reason was soon apparent. The 
Grand Duke Nicholas had swung his right across the Vistula 
under cover of the guns of Novogeorgievsk, and was driving 
in the German left center. Meantime the attempt to cross 
the Vistula had been vigorously pushed forward. One effort 
was made in the section between Ivangorod and Warsaw ; but 
since the Russians had a railway line on the eastern bank, 
they were able to bring up guns and blow German rafts and 
pontoons to pieces. 

Next day the Russians crossed the river at Novo Alex- 
andria and, having established gun positions, prepared to 
advance. The following day they landed parties of Caucasian 
troops north of Ivangorod, and these held their ground till 
the river could be bridged. So began the battle south of 
the Pilitza, the fiercest part of the great engagement, the 
chief fighting taking place near the village of Glovaczov, on 
the river Radomka. The Russians drove the Germans from 
open country beside the river into great woods of spruce, ten 
miles deep, which made a screen between the Vistula and 
the Polish plain. Among trees were hundreds of separate 
engagements, desperate hand-to-hand fighting in cranberry 



mosses and forest glades. Ultimately the Russians forced 
the Germans into the open on the west side, where their 
runs completed the destruction. At Kozience they buried 
16,000 dead, their own and Germans. A correspondent who 
visited the scene after the battle thus described it : 

"The forest for miles looks as if a hurricane had swept through 
it. Trees staggering from their shattered trunks, and limbs hanging 
everywhere, showed where shrapnel shells had been bursting. There 
was scarcely an acre that was not sown like the scene of a paper- 
chase, only the trail here was bloody bandages and bits of uni- 
form." 7 

The Germans fought desperately, struggling to save their 
guns or render them useless to the Russians. By the 25th 
the Germans were at Radom, and Ruzsky's right was moving 
so fast that it got between them and the Pilitza. The next 
stand of Hindenburg's army was at Kielce; but, after an 
engagement lasting a day and a night, the Russians, on 
November 3, drove them from the town, along the southern 
railway, with a loss of 2,500 prisoners and many guns. By 
the beginning of November the long German front had 
been broken into two pieces, with the Pilitza between the 
southern fleeing southwest toward Czestochowa and Krakow, 
the northern retiring westward toward the line of the 
"Wart a. Ruzsky's victory in the south determined Rennen- 
kampf's success north of the Pilitza. Grojec and Skiernie- 
wice were taken, and then Lowicz and Lodz; for, with both 
flanks turned, there could be no resting-place for Hinden- 
burg short of the frontier. The Germans fought with ex- 
traordinary gallantry, thousands of men being sacrificed for 
the safety of guns and transports. As Hindenburg retreated 
he left a desert behind him, the roads he had laboriously 
made being mined and destroyed, as was the new gage of 
the Kalisz-Lodz railway. He "chess-boarded" ordinary 
highways, blew up railway stations, water-towers, and 
bridges, and was said to have used a machine which turned 
steel rails into shapes something like corkscrews. Half his 
rear-guard actions were fought to enable this work of de- 
struction to be completed. 

7 Stanley Washburn in his "Field Notes from the Russian Front" (Imported 
by Charles Scribner's Sons). 



The area of conflict was on a front of some sixty miles 
along roads leading eastward to Warsaw and Ivangorod. 
When the Germans met the Russians on the left bank of the 
Vistula on October 10, the fight promised to continue for 
weeks, and possibly for months. The Germans, in an at- 
tempt to break the Russian line around Ivangorod, were 
at first driven back. Here the fighting reached a desperate 
stage. A great battle, rivaling in the strength of the op- 
posing forces and the importance of the conflict the battle 


of the Aisne in France, began to develop on a front that 
stretched along the Vistula and San rivers from Warsaw to 
Przemysl and thence south to the Dneister. Hard fighting 
was soon reported from all points along this line. In the 
south the Austrians, rehabilitated by their new German 
commanders, assumed the offensive and made attacks in 
conjunction with strong German forces. Below Przemysl 
Russian cavalry were in conflict with a strong force of 
Austrians and Germans. Before Warsaw the Germans sent 
aviators to drop bombs into the city of Warsaw. A Zeppelin 



flew in full view of hundreds of citizens, but before the air- 
ship could drop its missiles it was brought down by a shot 
from one of the forts. An aeroplane which dropt a bomb 
later was captured a few miles up the river. 

Warsaw was defended by nearly twenty detached forts 
Altho it had lost in political status, it had increased its 
prestige in other directions, and was still the gay, active 
metropolis of a land whose literature and arts it dominated. 
It was also the great industrial and commercial center of 
Poland. Machinery, carriages, food products,' animal prod- 
ucts, and woven goods were among its many and varied 
productions. There were nearly fifty book-printing estab- 
lishments in Warsaw. The inhabitants numbered 909,491 
in 1913, about one-third being Jews. Germans formed a 
considerable part of the population. The Russian garrison 
had over 30,000 men. It was the residence of the medieval 
dukes of Masovia. As early as the seventeenth century it had 
supplemented Krakow as the capital of the kingdom, altho 
Polish kings continued to be crowned at Krakow. 

On October 14, when there was fighting at various points 
between Sandomierz and Ivangorod, an official statement 
from Berlin announced that "the whole of Poland, with the 
exception of Warsaw, is in our possession." If the state- 
ment had also excepted a small area round Ivangorod, it 
would not have been an exaggeration, for the Germans were 
within ten miles of Warsaw and on the 16th penetrated to 
within seven miles; and there was then no adequate Russian 
force in sight for the city's protection. Apparently the 
Russians had been slow to realize how serious was the 
threat against Warsaw, with forces of such magnitude con- 
verging upon it from all parts of the west and south; tho 
actual force engaged in the immediate attack does not 
seem to have exceeded from five to seven army corps, only 
a small portion of whom were first-line troops. Plans had 
been made for its occupation on or about Octber 18. Its 
value as a base for future operations against Russia was 
obvious, and its capture at that time, just a week after the 
fall of Antwerp in the west, would have had great moral 

The thunder of German guns was first heard in Warsaw 


This picture was taken when the military operations of Ilindenburg and 
Ludendorffi had been confined almost wholly to the Eastern Front 



on the night of October 10-11. Prom that time it drew 
gradually nearer, while hostile aeroplanes paid daily visits, 
and something like panic began to spread. Accounts of the 
happenings in the next few days inside of Warsaw are con- 
fused. A decision to evacuate Warsaw was probably taken 
as early as October 15 or 16, when trains were provided for 
officials and others who wished to leave. Practically all the 
British colony and many others who did not care to fall 
into German hands departed in haste. Outside the forti- 
fications Russian troops were holding the Germans back 
stubbornly, tho outnumbered two or three to one. By day 
and by night windows in Warsaw shook with the detonation 
of distant guns, while from the roofs of buildings the popu- 
lation could see shells bursting to west and south. Wounded 
men were pouring back into the town and still there 
seemed no sign or hope of relief. For a day or two the 
Poles gave themselves up to an unhappy conviction that, in 
spite of their professions, the Russians had abandoned them. 
On October 17 great shells from six-inch field howitzers were 
exploding just beyond the town. 

Opposed to the German advance in one direction outside 
of Warsaw was part of a division of one of Russia's choice 
Siberian corps. It was to this band of men that Warsaw 
became indebted for remaining nine months longer in Russian 
hands. For a period of seven hours it was believed that 
the Germans might have entered Warsaw unopposed, had 
they made the attempt. The Siberians had then been fight- 
ing all day and were . cut almost to pieces ; their artillery 
had withdrawn, and they were virtually in retreat, offering 
scarcely any semblance of rear-guard action, while the Ger- 
mans were believed to be actually entering the town as re- 
sistance had apparently been abandoned. From the Radom 
road streamed into Warsaw the shattered fragments of 
regiments and for four hours or more there was said not to 
be in one direction a gun or effective unit to oppose a 
German advance. 

Just at that critical moment, however, the Germans 
ceased their attack. Through Warsaw, from street 'to 
street and from house to house, spread news leading to an 
uproar of rejoicings. " Warsaw," it was announced, "is to 

v. vii 6 73 


be held at any cost; the Grand Duke has said so and re- 
inforcements are actually on the way." Reinforcements 
were in fact coming as fast as steam could bring them. The 
first to arrive were one of several units from Siberia whose 
soldiers almost leapt from box-cars into company forma- 
tion and without a moment's delay swung out over the Vis- 
tula through the main street and on by the Jerusalem road 
to the front. People who saw this entrance into Warsaw 
and the march through its main street and out for a new 
campaign (in which these men fought for eighteen con- 
secutive days and were then decorated by the Grand Duke 
with the Order of St. George), spoke of the scene as ex- 
traordinary. With a brass-band blaring, soldiers poured 
through the town, unshaven, dirty, haggard and war- 
stained from the campaign in Galicia, but marching with 
the swinging stride of veterans. 

All Warsaw seemed to go wild with joy. Women and chil- 
dren wept. Flower stores were stript and every sort of 
blossom w r as thrown among the troops, while men and 
women alike ran beside the soldiers tossing them cigarets, 
fruit, and bits of bread anything and everything that a 
population, frenzied with delight, could offer to men who had 
come to save them. Tears even came to the eyes of men 
who witnessed the scene and said they could never have be- 
lieved that they would live to see the Poles giving such a 
welcome to soldiers of the Czar. Behind this first regiment 
came another and another and then guns and ammunition 
caissons. Behind them were more regiments, more guns, 
more cavalry, and still again more divisions and more corps, 
until at last there seemed to be no end to the hordes of 
troops that Russia was pouring in. From the day of their 
arrival Warsaw was safe. By October 21 the Germans were 
in retreat. 

There had been before this occurrence severe fighting in 
the region of Lyck on the East Prussian border, each side 
claiming the advantage, while in Galicia the Russians had 
been compelled to retreat from a line hardly sixty miles 
from Krakow to a line that followed the San. But like 
the Germans in France, the Russians had kept their armies 
intact. Their forces between Warsaw and Ivangorod faced 



an army of about 600,000 Germans. South of Ivangorod, 
and facing the Vistula, was an Austro-German force of 
another 600,000, while in Galicia the Austrian s, with a few 
German corps, were operating some 300,000. The total 
strength of the German armies in Poland and Galicia was 
estimated at about 1,200,000; and the Austrian force might 
bring the figure up to 1,500,000. The Russians were believed 
to be employing not fewer than 2,000,000, which did not 
include Rennenkampf 's force in East Prussia, estimated at 

On October 22 it was announced from Petrograd that 
the Russians had won, and that the Germans were in retreat. 
Some of the Germans, however, operating toward Warsaw, 
between the Bzura and the Pilitza, confluents of the Vistula, 
and other Germans south of the Pilitza river, were still 
holding their positions. German shells had reached parts 
of the outlying suburbs. The hardest fighting was with 
forces outside the railway from Skernievive, within a few 
miles of Warsaw. The Germans apparently made their 
last stand between Bloni and Pasechno, the former sixteen 
miles west, the latter twelve miles south, of Warsaw. It 
was by sending cavalry round to the rear of the German 
left and infantry to their left flank from the fortress of 
Novogeorgievsk, while other forces which had crossed the 
Vistula eighteen miles south of Warsaw increasingly threat- 
ened their right, that the Russians compelled the Germans 
to retreat. 



When the main object of the Russian plan namely, to 
crush the German active force, while leaving the second-rate 
troops of the German reserves and the Austrians to be dealt 
with later had been achieved, the Russians had moved for- 
ward along a line some two hundred and sixty miles in 
length, from the Carpathians to the Vistula west of Novo- 
georgievsk. This advance quickly drove the Austrian forces 
back from the San. Here, and south of Przemysl, the Rus- 
sians had only to deal with Austrian corps, broken rem- 
nants of which had been drawn into formation again and 
put under German command, but their fighting value was 
not increased. The German main armies had now been 
overcome and were retreating on fortified lines along the 
Polish frontier. 

The Grand Duke's strategic plan showed how he relied on 
his soldiers, both as fighters and marchers. Several corps had 
had to cover something like 150 miles in order to take up 
positions. The marching was done ui~der never-ceasing rain, 
over roads cut up into sloughs, with the enemy's heavy 
artillery attacking them from a distance. They had to 
cover the whole front with a thick screen of cavalry and 
operate far to the west of the Vistula, beyond the reach of 
Germans, until they were ready to take up their final posi- 
tions. They then crossed the Vistula, fought for enough 
space in which to deploy, and entrenched themselves on the 
left bank. 

On October 23 a Russian ' official announcement said the 
Germans were in full retreat from before Ivangorod. It 
was on October 21 that the Germans had begun to fall 
back from Warsaw. By October 22 they had gone so far 
from the city, and the Russians were so vigorously press- 
ing the pursuit, that the chief fighting was on the Bzura 
beyond Sochaczew in the neighborhood of Lowicz. On the 
24th Dankl's Austrian army was forced back to Radom. 
On the 25th the Russian official communique spoke of the 
battle as raging along a front from Radom to Skierniewice. 
On the 28th Radom, at one end of the line, and Lodz, at the 
other, had been reoccupied by the Russians. 

The chief lines of German retreat were along the main 
railway from Warsaw by Piotrokow and Novo-Radomsk to 


Czestochowa, along the railway from Lodz to Kalisch, and 
northwesterly from Lowicz toward Thorn. The Austro- 
German forces fell back on the route by which they had 
come, by Kielce to Olkusz and under shelter of Krakow. 
The retiring armies did their best in destroying bridges, 
wrecking railways, and plowing up roads in order to delay 
the pursuit. German official accounts of the operations, 
published three months later, declared that by these mea- 
sures the Russian advance had been rendered slow, so that 
Teutonic forces had time to retire in good order. 

The center of the Austrian line was in a village about 
ten miles east of Kielce. In the village was a walled-in 
graveyard, the whole of which had been flanked with gun- 
positions and protected with wing-trenches and hurriedly 
erected barbed-wire entanglements. This graveyard was the 
strongest position on the whole line of defense. It had a 
little white church in the middle of the field. Before the 
Austrians were fully alive to what was going on, the Rus- 
sians were pouring over the wall, over-running barbed wire 
and wing-trenches, with an impetuosity which crumpled the 
Austrian center as an incoming tide dissolves a sand castle 
on a seashore. The little graveyard, where for centuries 
the dead of the village had been laid beneath overhanging 
trees, was transformed into a shambles. The only outlet 
was a single gate, and Russian soldiers took this in their 
rush, effectively closing the compound within. 

Here, in the darkness, men fought hand to hand, stumb- 
ling over graves and wakening the echoes with rifle shots 
and shoutings and with the groans and moans of the dying. 
It would be no fiction to speak of the ground as soaked with 
blood. A correspondent 8 who visited the spot soon after 
the action found great clots of coagulated blood, "like bits 
of raw liver," lying everywhere. The Austrians, taken by 
surprize, had fought with desperation and stubbornness, but 
as hundreds of dead were crumpled up under trees and 
among tombstones they became no match for the Caucasian 
soldiers when they came to hand-to-hand fighting with cold 
steel and clubbed with rifles. When morning came the Austrian 
center had disappeared and the whole line of the army left 

8 Of The Times (London). 



to screen the German retirement was in retreat. At one 
o'clock the Russians poured into Kielce horse, foot, and 
artillery while on the flank their infantry were sucking up 
stragglers among the enemy, and, on the extreme left were 
entering Sanclomierz, which had to be taken by storm against 
a triple line of defenses. 

It was not until October 28 that news came to Western 
Europe of Russia's victory over Hindenburg at Warsaw. 
The German and Austrian armies, operating well south 
of the River Ilianka, had been broken in two, altho 
the northern part, defeated a week or more before in an 
attempt to march into Warsaw, was still fighting desper- 
ately north of the Pilitza. South of that river the Grand 
Duke Nicholas had inflicted a defeat on the enemy, who 
were in retreat, leaving a gap between the two main groups 
of armies equal to about one day's march. 

This victory had been won after several days of severe 
fighting, extending from Bialobrzegi on the Pilitza, twelve 
miles west of the Vistula, southeastward through Glovachey 
and Politchna, to Inavetz, on the left bank of the Vistula 
opposite the village of Kazmierz. The total length of 
this front was forty-two miles. The two theaters of the 
main struggle were divided by the Pilitza, which flows into 
the Vistula from the west, twenty-eight miles south of 
Warsaw, a considerable river over a hundred miles in 
length, with a width from a hundred yards to twice that 
extent, with a marshy tract about its confluence with the 
Vistula. As the Germans had not bridged the river the 
main battlefield resolved itself into two separate theaters 
of war. In both severe fighting was in progress for a week. 
North of the Pilitza the Germans were driven from fifty to 
seventy odd miles from the line of the Vistula. South of 
the Pilitza they were one march further forward in the 
immediate neighborhood of the river. 

The armies opposed to the Russians had their base at 
Mekhov, north of Krakow; the Staff was at Radom. From 
Radom to the Vistula runs the only railway in this theater 
of war, its back parallel to and twenty miles south of the 
Pilitza. From Radom to Kozenitze, forming a very narrow 
"V" with the railway, ran the only good road to the 



Vistula. The greater part of the area of this theater was 
covered with thick forest, traversed in all directions by 
tracks which at that time of year were clay sloughs. Only 
three considerable open spaces of nearly level country were 
available for army operations amid the forests. One, about 
Kozenitze, running fourteen miles along the Vistula, was 
only six miles in its widest part. This the Grand Duke 
Nicholas selected as a place d'armes for the deployment of 
his forces when the time should come to cross the Vistula. 
The Kozenitze entrenchments were held, with a valor never 
exceeded in this war, by a small force against desperate 


assaults for over a week. Two other open spaces were each 
about fifteen miles by ten. Glovachev was the most con- 
sideraWe township near the center. 

The fighting in the forest was of savage character, 
bayonets being most effective in the hands of Russian troops. 
Artillery and maxim surprizes also accounted for a good 
deal of the slaughter, which ranked with the heaviest exper- 
ienced on this front. The German losses were thought not 
to be under a hundred thousand. The Germans appeared 
to have somewhat the best of the battle at the outset, the 
Russians being the attacking party and unable to use their 


guns with the freedom enjoyed by the Germans. From 
batteries in open spaces they were able to keep up a heavy 
shell-fire on the Russians, who, as they advanced through 
the woods, drove the Germans back with the bayonet. This 
work lasted overnight, the Germans shelling the forests 
incessantly behind fighting lines, which were engaged in 
hand-to-hand struggles with bayonets, alternating with hur- 
ried entrenching work and rifle-fire. The fighting largely 
consisted of bayonet charges. After some twenty-four hours 
of hard fighting the Russians emerged from the woods, 
which they had cleared of the enemy. The battle then as- 
sumed a more regular appearance, but bayonet-fighting and 
the persistence of the Russians slackened the Germans. 

In a northern open space the Russians emerging from 
the fringe of a forest, established themselves in strong 
entrenchments which they had dug during the night under 
a ceaseless fire. These by degrees gave them a fighting front 
of some five miles between the villages of Adamoff, Severi- 
noff, and Marinoff, which commanded three of the best 
tracks through the forest behind them, and served to secnre 
direct communications with the rear. Glovachev and the 
whole line northward from that township to the Pilitza was 
taken by a direct attack after extremely severe fighting 
against some of Germany's best corps. In the night the 
Germans began their retreat. The Russians prest them hard 
during a w.hole day and by nightfall German-Austrian 
armies south of the Pilitza were in retreat on the Edlinsk- 
Radom-Ilsha line, and guns and prisoners .were falling into 
Russian hands. The chief significance of the Russian vic- 
tory lay in the fact that these armies had been cut off 
from the Pilitza base. There was no longer before the 
advancing Russians on the Vistula a front of one German 
grand army, but two entirely isolated fronts. The victory 
was strategic. 

Over the whole Vistula front, the German armies were 
now in retreat, pursued by the Russians. Ezhov, south of 
Skerniewiece, had been seized by the Russians, as also 
Strykoff, which was within ten miles of Lodz, the terminus 
of railway communication, on the German gage. Novo- 
miasto, the most forward point occupied on the Pilitza by 



the German armies, was also in the hands of the Russians. 
Russian cavalry had reached Lodz in the northern theater, 
and Radom in the southern. The Teutonic armies, both now 
in retreat, were hourly widening the space between them, as 
the armies north of the Pilitza were retiring westward and 
those to the south of that river almost due south. An in- 
terval of at least forty miles separated the two parts of 
Germany's army. 

Of the fourteen bombs which the Germans before this 
retreat had dropt over "Warsaw, two altogether failed to 
explode. The dozen others inflicted damage that was futile 
from the military point of view, and without effect as a 
threat, even on a civil population. One fell in a street 
frequented for evening promenade, hit the corner of a house 
occupied by a popular cafe, but did no harm, notwithstand- 
ing the crowded state of the street. Another fell in a 
municipal garden-space which was closed for the evening, 
and therefore empty at the time. Two fell in the Jewish 
quarter, one in the courtyard of a Jewish hospital. Others 
were dropt in the neighborhood of the railway-station and 
the field beyond. The total score for fourteen bombs dropt 
during the flight of an hour and a half by several aero- 
planes was seven killed and forty-six wounded. The popu- 
lace, unscared, joked about the German bombs as a charac- 
teristic form of German greeting. Their missiles were 
called in derision "Germany's pour prendre cards." 

Of the part borne by the Cossacks in this fighting it 
may be said that they did not hesitate to attack any odds. 
Cossacks never leave any of their dead or wounded behind 
but pick them up without dismounting. Comrades generally 
get a dismounted man away. Even when a Cossack hap- 
pens to get left behind, he is rarely caught. One so left in 
this battle arrived in camp on a German officer's horse 
behind its legitimate rider. His own horse, it seemed, had 
been shot dead just as his party were off again, after having 
inflicted a blow upon an enemy outnumbering them. As the 
German officer rode up to cut the man down, the man ducked 
under the officer's charger, leaped up behind from the 
other side and, giving a Cossack yell in the officer's ear, 

9 In allusion to the French phrase, Pour prendre cong& To take leave. 



so startled him that he dropt his sword. The Cossack then 
got control of the horse and made him move in the direction 
of his own lines, where he arrived unhurt with his German 

The Germans became eloquent over the "hideous barbaric 
yells" of the Cossacks. There was something about this yell 
which appealed to the equine species, whatever the effect 
was on a man. Cossacks owned their horses. If they lost 
their mount, they had to provide themselves with another. 
It was a favorite sport with them to obtain remounts from 
the enemy's camp by stalking at night. They rarely failed 
to turn up with one, two, or three selected mounts, and 
never said anything about how many of the enemy they had 
killed to get the horses. The Cossack thought only in 
horses; men hardly counted. Of course, they had to arsk 
their officer's permission to make such raids, but they were 
rarely refused. A Cossack without his horse, tho still a 
fighter and good shot, was a miserable man. 

Out of the fog that surrounded operations in Poland for 
several weeks afterward emerged a solid bulk of Russian 
achievement. The great German invasion under Hindenburg 
was for the time over, the invading army was flowing back 
steadily, and by the end of October was held on German 
territory and was still retreating. Examined with refer- 
ence to its purpose, the German advance meant that the 
Germans had thrust their troops east from Posen and 
Breslau in order to relieve the pressure on the Austrian 
armies, which, after a series of defeats in Galicia, seemed 
to be breaking up. From this point of view, the German 
invasion was measurably successful, but only in a limited 
degree. Merely for the moment had the advance into 
Poland helped the Galician campaign of Germany's ally. 
Fresh Russian corps, flung from Warsaw upon the German 
right, had outflanked it, Cossack regiments reaching beyond 
the flank and frontal attacks making the advance. The 
offensive had reached only the suburbs of Warsaw, but 
from there, after fierce fighting, was sent back seventy 
miles. Lodz and Radom were reported in Russian hands. 
These cities were half-way points between the Vistula and 
the Silesian boundary. 


The main thing to note was that the Russians, after a 
tremendous defeat at Tannenberg, had in turn defeated 
and almost destroyed Austrian armies in Galicia, had driven 
Hindenburg's German armies advancing from East Prussia 
into Poland, back across the frontier, and pursued them 
after a long and desperate battle. Russia had demonstrated 
that she was not the Russia of the Japanese war. The 
Battle of the Vistula proved that there were Russian gen- 
erals who, having retreated, could advance. More than 


this, the manner in which the troops were moved, concen- 
trated and sent north and south to the decisive point, proved 
that the Russian high command was skilful. 

By November 10 the Russians had not only forced the 
Germans out of Poland, but between Kalisch and Thorn 
some of their detachments had penetrated 20 miles into 
Prussian territory, while others were within 20 miles of 
Krakow. Silesia was again threatened. There was some 
justification for a Russian claim, voiced in a telegram from 
the Grand Duke Nicholas to General Joffre, that the Rus- 



sians had gained "the greatest victory since the beginning 
of the war." By this the Russian commander-in-chief re- 
ferred to the great conflict which began within cannon-shot 
at Warsaw on October 14, and ended with the occupation of 
Jaroslav. During these three weeks of fighting, the Russians 
beat at least three armies Germans who advanced through 
central Poland against Warsaw ; Austrians who advanced 
through southern Poland against Ivangorod; another Aus- 
trian army which advanced in Galicia against the river San, 
driving the Russians from Jaroslav, virtually compelling an 
abandonment of the siege of Przemysl, and at one time 
threatening the evacuation of Lemberg, which the Russian 
armies had won in the first month of the war. The Austro- 
German forces thus defeated may have numbered a million 
men. Probably at that time no such battle had been fought 
since the beginning of the war on either front. 

Meanwhile, on the East Prussian frontier, the Russians 
had prest forward till they were once more on German' soil. 
The completeness of their victory was rivalled only by the 
full round of German successes in Belgium and France dur- 
ing the third week of August. Russia had been able to take 
the full measure of Austria. One could only wonder at the 
future value of the Austrian armies. Only strenuous Ger- 
man efforts could brace them to action after such defeat. 
Austrian successes against the Russians were made possible 
only by the German drive against Warsaw, and when that 
army was turned back the entire Austrian battle-line 
cracked, first at Ivangorod, south of Warsaw, then in the 
great bend of the Vistula, around Sandomir, and afterward 
around Jaroslav and Przemysl. Even German aid and 
guidance had failed. The way seemed open for a formidable 
Russian thrust from the Baltic to the Dniester. 

In Poland and Galicia war had kept its dramatic aspects- 
rapid marches, heavy engagements, decisive results, swift 
retreats, surprize-attacks, flanking movements, sharp rear- 
o-uard actions. Thus, in Galicia the battle-line swaved back 

o * 

and forth, not hundreds of yards at a time as in the west, 
but twenty-five, fifty, or a hundred miles at a time. By the 
middle of September the Russians had crossed the San and 
were pressing on Krakow. Three weeks later they were 



back of the San in full retreat. Early in November they 
were once more across the river, moving on Krakow. The 
most dramatic change of all occurred in central Poland. 
On October 20 the Russians had been battling to save War- 
saw, but in the first week of November the Germans had 
retreated nearly 150 miles, and the Russian vanguard was 
across the Silesian frontier. This Russian war-tide, after a 


short ebb; had been carried back to within cannon-shot of War- 
saw, and was now sweeping forward again with a momen- 
tum that, for a time at least, overwhelmed the German 
and Austrian offensive and cleared Russian territory of the 
foe. Moreover, the interrupted invasions of East Prussia 
and Galicia, were resumed with increased strength. For the 
first time, Russian troops had crossed the boundary into the 
province of Posen and were within 200 miles of Berlin. 



By these achievements Russia seemed to have preempted 
the ceuter of the stage. Such rapid developments in the 
eastern field afforded a vivid contrast to the titanic dead- 
lock that now existed in northern France and Belgium in 
what is known as the first battle of Flanders. Operating 
on a battle-line aggregating hundreds of miles, the Russian 
armies had driven back Hindenburg's invading forces, esti- 
mated at 1,000,000 men, the retreat being forced at a rate 
of fourteen miles a day. Following are parts of a letter 
written in the midst of these events, by a Russian officer 
to an English friend. 

''How do I live, you ask? No two days alike. To-day pure joy, 
anyhow; clear sky; cool, not cold; nothing to do; some milk for 
chocolate they sent me from home; in the distance heavy cannonad- 
ing just makes a piquant addition to the idyllic scene. I have 
'Faust' in my pocket, and a volume of Jules Verne in German. The 
latter I grabbed in a looted house in Austria. What more could 
you want? I get on well with the soldiers, tho you have to speak to 
them like children, and, goodness knows, I am a poor pedagog. 
During the past month we put in three weeks in Austria, and then 
turned against the Germans, and did it all on our flat feet, alto- 
gether over six hundred miles' marching in two months. And the 
rain ! What rain ! Roads washed out, men and horses sticking fast 
in the mud, altogether about like Dante's Third or is it Fifth? 
Circle in Hell. But don't think I am whining. On bright nights, 
near the Great Bear, we make out our comet of course, ours and 
when I look on it I am a fatalist. Surely it is a link between 
heaven and earth, or if you will between God and humanity. You 
gaze at this long-tailed visitor and feel that something tremendous 
is happening, something catastrophic in the world of physics and 

For more than two weeks Russian armies were moving 
west over a whole battle-front from the Baltic to the Car- 
pathians. And every German and Austrian effort to make 
a final stand had failed. The Russian advance had almost 
reached Posen; it had passed the Wartha River and driven 
the Austrian army back on Krakow. But there had been 
no rout of the Germans. They would unquestionably prove 
to be as strong on the defense in Silesia and Poland as they 
had been in the Champagne and Flanders. Bloody and terri- 



ble checks were therefore the natural thing to expect, now 
that Russia was again on the border of Germany. The real 
value of the Vistula campaign to the neutral observer lay 
in the fact that Hindenburg had failed. His efforts thus far 
to crush Russia were quite analogous to German failure to 
dispose of France. Russia, like France, had emerged from 
a supreme test unshaken. The German High Command, in 
official bulletins, explained the defeat by saying they were 
unable to operate because of bad roads. Russians replied to 
this by asking how, after forty years of preparing for war, 
it came about that German commanders failed to know 
that Poland was not provided with the same splendid high- 
ways as Germany? 

By the middle of November Hindenburg 's plans for a 
second invasion of Poland were getting into shape. While 
his Austro-German Army had been pushed back to the 
frontier, pursued by the Russians, the retreat was by no 
means a rout; indeed, before the defeated army reached the 
frontier, it had managed to shake off its pursuers, partly 
by destroying railways, roads and bridges, partly by putting 
up -strong rear-guards to cover the retirement. Detaching 
themselves from their Allies, the Germans fell back in two 
main groups, one making its way down the left bank of 
the Vistula to Thorn, the other crossing the Warta at 
Sieradz, and in due course reaching Kalisz. The Austrians, 
who had been fighting on the Ivangorod-Sandomier line, 
fell back slowly along the r'ght bank of the upper Vistula to 
Krakow, where they were joined by the Austrian Army of 
Galicia, which had retreated from the San, in conformity 
with the general withdrawal from Poland. 

It was soon found that Hindenburg had not yet been dis- 
posed of. Leaving his army to find its way to the frontier he 
hurried to Thorn, summoned General von Mackensen to his 
aid from Danzig, who had thus far been unemployed in 
the war, due, rumor said, to severe criticisms he had made 
of the Crown Prince's pretensions to knowledge of war, and 
formulated another plan of campaign by means of which he 
intended to carry the war back into Poland. Mackensen, 
being reinforced, was ordered to remain strictly on the de- 
fensive in the entrenched positions he had taken up guard- 



ing the eastern approaches to Thorn. The new troops were 
partly composed of those who had fallen back from Poland, 
partly of new formations brought rapidly up to the ren- 
dezvous by Germany's admirable railway system. The- Rus- 
sian War Office estimated this army as composed of twelve 
corps, and gave it an .approximate strength of 500,000 men. 
It intended to move rapidly up the left bank of the Vistula, 
and, by threatening Warsaw, force the Russians to concen- 
trate between the Vistula and the Warta, by this means, tak- 
ing pressure off the Silesian frontier. 

After placing Mackensen in executive command of the 
Thorn army, Hindenburg went down to Kalisz, and there, 
with equal promptitude, collected another army, destined to 
operate against the left flank of the Russians opposing 
Mackensen 's advance. Holding the defensive on the Czesto- 
chowa-Krakow line, the commander received similar orders 
to those given to the general on the frontier of East Prussia. 
He was not to attempt an offensive movement, but was to 
hold on to his entrenched position with as few men as might 
be found necessary. Hindenburg aimed .to reconquer Galicia, 
and safeguard Krakow. The plan covered thft whole eastern 
theater of war, and was so conceived as to neutralize the 
initial strategical advantage which the Poland salient con- 
ferred on Russia. 

On November 14, at Thorn, a German counter-offensive 
was noticed across the border in Poland in the direction of 
Wloclawek. It was pushed with great violence along the 
left side of the Vistula and toward Kutno and Lowicz. The 
Russians do not appear to have had available here more than 
three army corps. Hindenburg, in Poland, was now at- 
tempting what Napoleon tried to do in eastern France in 
1814. Napoleon, with a small army, admirably led, en- 
deavored by successive blows to hold back three armies 
Prussian, Russian, and British that were moving toward 
Paris. Each in turn he defeated, but while he was- fighting 
with one, two ethers slipt forward, until he was compelled 
to turn and deal with both before he could destroy the one 
he had beaten before. So when the Russian Army in East 
Prussia had been assailed and defeated, the armies in Galicia 
and Poland advanced. Later, when the Army of Poland 



had been attacked and was withdrawing, armies in Galicia 

and East Prussia stormed forward. Hindenburg displayed 

some suggestion of Napoleon's genius, 

but numbers were against him. Na- 

poleon was finally crusht because Mar- 

mont surrendered Paris to one of the 

invading armies while Napoleon was 

battling with the two others. For 

Hindenburg, the Austrians seemed to 

be playing Marmont's role. 

Hindenburg, interviewed on the 
frontier in those days, said he did not 
doubt of his ultimate success. He 
thought that Russia was already " get- 
ting stale." All signs pointed to her 
soon being "at the end of her tether." 
She was beginning to lack arms and 
ammunition, and her soldiers "were 
going hungry." Even the officers were 
short of food. The country, too, was 
suffering from distress ; Lodz was 
starving. That was regrettable, he 
said, but it was "a good thing, for one 
can conduct no war with sentimental- 
ity; the more brutal the conduct of war, 
the more charitable it really is, for 
the sooner it will be ended." One 
could observe, "even by the way in 
which the Russian troops fight, that 
soon they will be able to fight no 
longer." Two of Hindenburg 's staff 
were General Ludendorff, afterward to 
meet with a decisive failure in the west, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffman, one SmSSr o^'ceSS 
of the discredited heroes of the treaty army opposed to Brusii- 

-D i. T -A i rrcu i A -U , off on the Russian front 

of Brest-Litovsk. The latter observed: 

"We have a feeling of absolute superiority over the Rus- 
sians; we must win and we will." Ludendorff, who was 
already well known in Germany as the "monosyllable gen- 
eral," merely said, "We'll do it." 


V. VII 7 



But Russia's power in recovery and in renewing an at- 
tack was to be illustrated further in this campaign. The Grand 
Duke's way was to take a front sufficient only for the 
purpose of his strategic plan. Behind and within easy reach 
were men ready to fill gaps in the line. These constituted 
practically a second armv, while far away in distant prov- 
inces st-11 another army was being made fit. Ever since the 
beginning of the war a continual flow of Russian troops in 
regular sequence had taken place. The fighting front was 
always kept at full strength. The influx of new material 
was gradual, but thereby it kept soldierly qualities and a 
knack of campaigning at high-water mark. Russia at this 
stage of the war had large categories of disciplined men 
still available who had not even been summoned to serve. 
In fact, she had not drawn upon half the total available 
resources of the Empire, and there was no intention of draw- 
ing upon them except as they were required. 

So rapid was the new German advance into Poland that 
by November 16, from its base on Thorn, it had reached a 
line running from Plock to Leczica, some 50 miles inside the 
frontier, or about half way to Warsaw. The force under 
Hindenburg was divided into two armies the left, or north- 
ern one, commanded by Morgen, and the right commanded 
by Mackensen. On November 15-16 the Russians, in spite of 
their inferiority in numbers, ventured a delaying action 
against Morgen in the neighborhood of Kutno, but were 
driven back. Hindenburg announced the result as a victory, 
claiming to have taken 28,000 prisoners. The news was re- 
ceived with enthusiasm in Berlin, and Hindenburg was made 
a Field-marshal. On the following day, Mackensen 's right 
successfully engaged the Russians between Dubie and Leczia, 
driving them northwest -along the Bzura toward Lowicz. 
The Germans opened a gap in their lines, into which, be- 
tween Strykow .and Zigerz, they drove a wedge. If they 
cculd have penetrated the Russian line effectually at this 
point, and could have forced troops through, the Germans 
believed they would have had Warsaw in their hands. New 
troops were hurried up from Bresiau, and on November 18 
fighting was in progress at Lodz nearer Warsaw, and on the 
20th 'at Lowicz and Skiermewice, which were s-till nearer. On 



the 23d the Russians claimed a success near Strykow. From 
that date to the end of the month, the Germans gained no 

The Russians had been heavily reinforced, not by weaken- 
ing armies in the south, but by bringing up new 
troops from the east. In the following fortnight Hinden- 
burg beat in vain against the Russian line along the Bzura 
to and beyond Lodz. Besides killed and wounded the 
Russians took many prisoners. It was said that 5,000 
were taken on one day, and 6,000 the next. A few days 
later Warsaw was full of them. Apparently two corps lost 
almost all their guns. News of the German reverses, even 
in a modified form, brought depression in Berlin, where a 
brilliant victory by Hindenburg had been anticipated. In 
importance, as in numbers lost, the result outweighed the 
German success achieved at Kutno. Both, however, were 
only incidents in a great struggle which, on this front* went 
on unceasingly and on a g'gantic scale, and the issue of 
which by the end of November had turned in favor of Russia. 

Russia for the third time had checked a considerable Ger- 
man offensive and, temporarily at least, transformed it into 
a retreat. In similar ways a German thrust at the Niemen 
was repulsed in October and one at Warsaw in November. 
The invasions failed because, after considerable success and 
some real progress, the Germans were unable to retain the 
advantage of superior numbers at the decisive point. As 
their armies proceeded into Russia, the Russian armies in- 
creased until no advantage in' equipment, generalship, or 
training could counterbalance the ponderous bulk of the 
Slavs, whose armies presently became overwhelming on the 
German fronts and began to overflow on their flanks. In 
the east, German armies seemed unequal to their task, in 
the sense that they were too small to make a victory decisive. 
The German campaign in Poland more and more gave the 
impression of a magnificent use of a few men to do the work 
of many. An undoubted success won by the few gradually 
became circumscribed. 

The incident which stood out most conspicuously in De- 
cember was the occupation by the Germans of Lodz, of which 
they had not had possession since October. Lodz was the 



second city of Poland. The Germans celebrated its capture 
as a great triumph. They had taken a large number of 
prisoners and much booty. Russians said its evacuation was 
a strategic move only, that it would enable them to take up 
a shorter and more advantageous line and they "did not 
lose a single man" in the operation. For fifteen hours the 
Germans shelled empty trenches from which the Russians 
had retired on the preceding day. The truth probably was 
that the Russians would not have given up the place, if only 
for the moral effect of the loss, unless they had been obliged 
to do so. Its surrender was a reverse, and the Germans 
were justified in claiming the acquisition of it as of some 
importance. Threatened with destruction, the Russians had 
swept back in a half circle away from Warsaw. When 
attacked in front of German troops advancing from Kalisz, 
the enormous resources of Russia had saved her from disas- 
ter. Gathering up the garrison and the reserve troops in 
Warsaw and nearby fortresses, Russia sent out from War- 
saw a new army which took in the rear the Germans, who, 
by a sudden turn of fortune, after having half surrounded 
the Russians at Lodz, found themselves caught between 
Russian troops at Lodz, and others coming along the Warsaw 
railroad and operating south of Lowicz and Skiorniewicz. 

While Berlin claimed a decisive victory, Petrograd talked 
of a German "Sedan" in Poland. German military skill 
had, however, met a crisis that was the gravest Germany had 
thus far met. While her troops cut their way out of the Rus- 
sian net in the north and west, new troops, apparently 
brought hastily from Flanders and France, covered her 
broken corps as they emerged from the Russian gap. Some 
of the most desperate and costly fighting of the war took 
place at this stage. When it terminated, Russians and 
Germans faced each other in a double line across Poland 
from the Vistula to Galicia, and the campaign had resolved 
itself into a deadlock. 

About the middle of December the German attacks ap- 
preciably decreased until the last week of the year saw 
little fighting of any importance in this' region. Between 
December 20 and 25 the Russian line, as a whole, fell back 
a little, not so much under pressure as for the purpose of 



taking up a better position on a straighter front. Both sides 
were content to dig in and entrench themselves. Southward 
confused fighting continued along the Pilitsa to the neigh- 
borhood of Novo-Radomsk, and thence on the Nido, where, 
in the last days of the year, the Russians claimed some 
minor successes with the capture of considerable numbers of 

The conduct of the campaign by the Grand Duke Nicholas 
was marked by a combination of caution and resource which 
repeatedly saved the situation when it seemed well-nigh 
lost. He acted throughout the operations with a cool and 
calculating judgment which never allowed his adversary to 
profit by the initial advantage which he possest of being 
able to take the offensive.. It was a duel between two 
strategists, one of whom was always attacking, and the 
other always defending, meeting thrust with counter-thrust, 
refusing to take risks, and never accepting battle at strat- 
egical disadvantage. Never once did the Russian generalis- 
simo place his men in a false position, or make demands on 
their services to which they were unable to respond. Sur- 
prized by the sudden irruption of Mackensen into Poland, 
he ordered his troops to fall back till reinforcements could 
arrive in sufficient numbers to assure success. Surprized 
a second time by Hindenburg's movement from Kalisz, he 
withdrew his left wing to save his communications. Keep- 
ing an eye on both his flanks he was ever ready wrth a coun- 
ter-stroke before there was time for his opponent to deliver 
his intended blow. On his side, the German commander also 
played his cards with consummate skill, and altho he com- 
mitted errors he speedily rectified them. 

Along the Carpathians fighting continued through the 
first week of December. The Russians found that their op- 
ponents at many points in this region were no longer Aus- 
trians, but Germans. Advices from Petrograd to London 
said the Austrian armies around Krakow had "ceased to 
exist as an independent force and were all mixed up with 
Germans." So long as Przemysl held out and Krakow stood 
firm, it was impossible that the Russians should entertain 
any idea of invading Hungary in force. To push an army 
any distance across the mountains would have been almost 



tantamount to giving it as a hostage to the enemy. The 
Russian position in Western Galicia and in Poland would 
have to be much better assured before any real invasion 
could be undertaken without great risk. Before that time 
arrived there was to come a long winter, with terrible 
fighting in deep snows and bitter cold on the mountains. 

For five months fighting such as the world had never seen 
had now raged over a front of more than 700 miles, or 
from the Baltic to the frontiers of Roumania. On the two 
sides not fewer than perhaps 5,000,000 men had been en- 
gaged. At the end Russia was believed to be stronger than 
ever, while Germany had suffered reverses at least as heavy 
as any she inflicted on the enemy. The combined losses of 
Germany and Austria were probably heavier than those 
which Russia suffered; and Russia was much better able to 
stand losses than either of her opponents. At the end -of the 
year it was announced that the prisoners in Russia included 
131,737 Germans, with 1,140 officers, and 221,447 Austrians. 
with 3,186 officers, or a total of 4,326 officers and 353,184 

The saddest feature of all was the devastation that had 
been wrought in Poland. The Polish people had paid a 
terrible price for loyalty to Russia. For five months con- 
tending armies had swept backward and forward over 
Polish lands. The country became one vast battle-field. 
Farms, villages, and towns were almost obliterated; prov- 
inces laid utterly waste. In their first advance, the German 
armies behaved with restraint and on their retreat they 
did not seem to have committed such outrages as were per- 
petrated in Belgium, at least not in such numbers. But 
they ruined the land, not only by the destruction of rail- 
ways, roads, buildings, and bridges, but by plundering and 
carrying away supplies of food and clothing. The condition 
to which such of the population as remained in devastated 
regions was reduced was, as winter came on, pitiable beyond 
description. The world at the time heard less of the suf- 
ferings of Poland than of those of Belgium. Nor did 
Poland find such ready hands to reach out to succor her. 
Nowhere did Belgium suffer such starvation and frozen 
misery as, during that winter, stalked through Poland. 



In Belgium the sweep of \var was swift and final, while in 
Poland it was a matter of being swept now in one direction, 
now in another, by rival armies for weeks and months. 
The area and population affected in Poland were more than 
ten times those of Belgium that is, considering both Poland 
in Russia and Austrian Poland as equally devastated by the 
war. Of eleven provinces in Poland only one, Siedloe, 
escaped invasion. The devastated territory amounted to 
more than 40,000 square miles nearly as great an area as 
New York State, New York's land area being 47,000 square 


miles in which 200 cities and towns and 9,000 villages were 
partially or entirely destroyed. Five thousand villages 
were razed to the ground. Railroad tracks for a distance 
of 1.000 miles were torn up. The soil was rendered unfit 
for tilling by innumerable trenches and big holes bored into 
it by heavy projectiles. The agricultural production, repre- 
senting $500,000,000 a year, was stopt in its entirety for 
lack of funds, seeds, farmhands, and cattle. The agricul- 
tural population of 7,000,000 people were virtually starving. 
The people hid themselves in forests, or under the ruins of 



their former villages, having as food only roots, bark, rind, 
and decaying carcasses of horses killed on the battle-fields. 
The fate of cities and industrial regions was no better. Some 
of them suffered depopulation, some were flooded by a tre- 
mendous wave of refugees who deserted the fighting zone. 
Eighty per cent, of this class of refugees were Jews. Kalisz, 
capital of the provinces of the same name, which before the 

war had a population of nearly 
80,000, numbered afterward 
only 10,000. 

Warsaw, the capital of the 
kingdom, twice as large as 
Brussels, harbored over 200.- 
000 refugees. The city of 
Lodz, with 50,000 inhabitants, 
twice captured by Russian 
and German armies, looked 
like a cemetery. Important in- 
dustrial centers like Chenstoc- 
hova, Sosnovioc, and the coal 
basin of Dombrova shared the 
same fate. An industrial out- 
put valued at $400,000,000 a 
year was annihilated. Three 
millions of people who had 
earned their daily bread in fac- 
tories and mines were starv- 
ing. Coal mines, altho not in 
the fighting zone, had been 
flooded by the Germans for 
strategical reasons, and all the costly machinery destroyed as 
was the case in cities of northern France. The total material 
loss was estimated as high as $700,000,000. On all sides were 
hunger, disease, and ruin. Out of a total of 1,500,000 horses 
in one part of Poland, 800,000 had been requisitioned by 
fighting armies. Not less than 2,000,000 cattle were confis- 
cated. Milk was scarce and the mortality among infants 
showed a terrific increase. In Przemysl, Rzeszow and Jaros- 
lav people were dying from hunger. The counties of Cles- 
zanov and Dovromil in Eastern Galicia and Lancut, Prze- 



The de ReszkS estate In Poland, 
which was a large one. was much 
overrun and parts of It ruined In 
the early operations of the Ger- 
mans In Poland 



worsk, Nisko, Tarnobrzeg, and Krosno in Western, were 
so thoroughly devastated that they looked as if they had 
been destroyed by an earthquake. Among heaps of ruins 
dogs ran wild with hunger. Flocks of crows and ravens, 
in search of food, were digging with their beaks into the 
shallow graves of Russian and Teutonic soldiers. Of the 
total area of Galicia only 7 per cent, was untouched by 
war, 23 per cent, partially and 70 per cent, totally ruined. 

The devastation of Poland was the worst between Lodz 
and Warsaw. After Warsaw, probably the most interesting 
of all Russian Polish cities was Chenstochova, which lies south 
of Lodz and half way between it and Krakow. Not far 
from this city was the De Reszke estate, the home of Edward 
and Jean de Reszke, the famous opera singers of a former 
decade. Previous to the war, which made the country about 
their estate one of the grounds of conflict, the estate num- 
bered 12,000 well-cultivated acres. Back of the villa was 
forest-land, really a small game reserve, in which the broth- 
ers with their guests often hunted deer, partridge, and 
hare. Most of the land was given over to potato raising, 
from which an annual supply of vodka was made. Happily 
employed were 400 peasants with their allowance of proven- 
der, their little homes, and a dependable yearly wage. Of 
the spacious De Reszke home only the cellar now remained 
to shelter Edward, who was almost destitute, Jean being 
in Paris. It had been a beautiful, peaceful domain. The 
homes of peasants on this estate were interesting. Married 
men had individual huts, but bachelors lived in long low 
buildings of simple lines. Near the entrance to the estate 
stood a very old church, which, because of its distinctive 
national architecture, the De Reszkes allowed to remain. An 
adjoining estate contained an ancient underground hermi- 
tage which had been used in the seventeenth century as a 

In measuring the Eastern campaign, which in December, 
as in November, attracted the attention of the whole world, 
it was necessary to note that, for the first time in the 
war a German army had been brought near to destruction, 
and that it had escaped. German generalship and German 
courage had risen to their highest level in those months of 



conflict, but the moral effect was not to be mistaken. To 
Germany and her Austrian ally were lacking sufficient num- 
bers to meet on equal terms the Russian forces arrayed 
against them. On both fronts east and west they were out- 
numbered. In the west the Germans still held most of 
Belgium and a slice of northern France, but in the east 
Russian soldiers occupied a corner of East Prussia and 
Austria had abandoned all of Galicia save the territory about 
Krakow, and had again evacuated the Bukowina. Upward 
of 35,000 square miles, with a population of 10,000,000, had 
thus been temporarily or permanently lost to the Teutonic em- 
perors a complete set-off, for the time being, to the con- 
quests Germany had made in August in the west. But the 
western world, and especially America, knew little of this. 10 

10 Principal Sources : The London Times' "History of the War," The Daily 
Chronicle (London), The Literary Digest, The Times, The Sun, New York; 
The Times (London), The Ercning Sun (New York), The Standard (London), 
"Nelson's History of the War" by John Buchan, The Fortnightly Review 
(London), Associated Press dispatches, The Mornlny Post (London), The 
Evening Post, The Evening Sun, New York ; The Dally Mail, The Dally News, 
London; The Neue Frele Presse (Berlin), "Bulletins" of the National Geo- 
graphic Society (New York). 






January 1, 1915 April 15, 1915 

BEFORE the end of December Hindenburg had brought 
up new forces, including stiffened remnants of the 
Austrian armies, and had reorganized the whole in a man- 
ner creditable to German recuperative powers. The Grand 
Duke Nicholas, meanwhile, had abandoned temporarily his 
main objective and drawn his armies together. Krakow, 
and everything around Krakow, had been abandoned. 
Wholesale withdrawals of Russian troops from positions be- 
fore held, except those in front of Warsaw, indicated tactical 
movements to secure better positions. The whole Eastern 
area of war, like Caesar's Gaul, was still divided into three 
parts, the East Prussian, Polish, and Carpathian zones, 
By New Year's Day the position in the Polish zone was re- 
garded as favorable to the Russians. They held an ad- 
vanced position in front of the Vistula, and were using, as 
an additional artery of communication, the great river 
which, during Hindenburg 's first invasion, had served the 
Russians so well as a defense. Should the line of Russian 
trenches ever be pierced, the army could fall back on the 
Vistula. But any retreat in that zone would merely be used 
to strengthen thei-r position on their chief railway junc- 
tions lying east of the Vistula, on a line parallel to the 
river-front on its eastern side, but well out of reach of guns 
from the western bank. 

Hindenburg resolved to make one more effort for Warsaw 
by a frontal attack. He had good cause to believe that the 
defenses of Warsaw had been weakened, for he knew the 
limitations of the Russian equipment, limitations which later 
in the year became the chief cause of Russia's downfall. 



Moreover, Hindenburg recalled that the fifty-sixth birthday 
of his Imperial Master was approaching. Warsaw had been 
the objective of his winter campaign Warsaw by a frontal 
attack and it was the merit, as it was the defect, of the 
veteran field-marshal that an idea once implanted in his 
.stubborn German mind was hard to uproot. There was 
a disposition in the West to regard his third assault on 
Warsaw as a feint intended to cloak this massing of men in 
East Prussia. On January 31, Mackensen had concentrated 
masses of artillery along the front of the Rawka, and down 
the Bzura as far as Sochaczev, and made a great artillery 
bombardment on a wide front, in order to puzzle the Rus- 
sians as to the direction of his main attack. In the mean- 
time he was getting together his strength of men and guns 
on a line of seven miles in front of Bolimov. Here, on the 
evening of February 1, he had not less than seven divisions 
140,000 men including various units of the Prussian 
Guard brought up from Lowicz, which gave him a strength 
of something like ten rifles per yard. 

Mackensen did not propose to repeat the mistake he had 
made before Lodz of driving into the Russian front a wedge 
too narrow to be effective. He realized that the breach 
must be wide enough to move about in so that he could 
operate against broken flanks. His plan almost looked like 
succeeding, but the place he had chosen for his assault hap- 
pened to be the place of all others which the Grand Duke 
Nicholas could most readily reinforce, because he had two 
railways and two good roads over which troops could be 
hurried from Warsaw. Through driving snow supports came 
in, and on February 4, late in the afternoon, the German 
advance was checked. But it had got over the crest of 
Barzymov, and advanced nearly five miles along the Warsaw 
railway until in another day the Rawka front might have 
been fatally breached. 

Around Barzymov the slaughter was so great that German 
dead formed material for redoubts and embrasures. When 
the advance reached its furthest point, it became weak, and 
yielded to a counter-attack. By the 18th the Germans 
were back on the Rawka flats, and the Russians crossed the 
Bzura at Dachova near the mouth of the Rawka. An ad- 



vance had been won which for a moment threatened the 
whole front, but the counter-attack shattered it. This action 
was the last of three frontal attacks on Warsaw. The 
Bzura-Rawka lines were found too strong to give such im- 
mediate results as Hindenburg had sought. 

It looked as if the Russians might again expel the inva- 
ders, and carry the war into their country. In central Poland, 
Maekensen's repeated attempts to break through had failed, 
and the lull which followed the fighting had led to a belief 
that he was waiting for an opportunity to retire from a 
position which appeared to be daily growing more unten- 
able. Then occurred another of those dramatic transforma- 
tion scenes, witnessed so often during this war, which once 
more set back the hands of the Russian clock. Apparently 
not disheartened by his failures, Hindenburg determined to 
make fresh efforts from fresh plans. A large Austro-Hun- 
garian army, reported to be 400,000 strong, had been concen- 
trated in Hungary ostensibly for the purpose of invading 
Serbia, but really to reconquer Galicia. 

Four or five corps, composed partly of Bavarian, Saxon, 
and West Prussian troops, and including a brigade of Prus- 
sian Guards, had been hurried to the Danube, and thence 
sent to reinforce the Austro-Hungarian Army, which was 
being concentrated on the Theiss river. Leavened with Ger- 
man troops, this army was divided into three main groups, 
the right group being intended to advance into the Buko- 
wina, the left to effect the relief of Przemysl, and the central 
group, which was the strongest, and composed largely of 
German troops, having for its object to pierce the center of 
the Russian line of resistance and re-occupy Lemberg. The 
plan of campaign for giving effect to these intentions had 
been carefully worked out by Hindenburg. Owing to the 
secrecy with which it was launched the initial conditions 
favored its success. 

Simultaneously with this movement the left column of the 
Austro-German Army, advancing along a sixty-mile front 
from the west of Kassa to Ungvar, and making use of the 
three railways, which converged on the Galician frontier 
in this locality, pushed its way through the Dukla, Lupkow, 
and Uszok passes, the Russians, according to their wont, fall- 



iii^ back before the Austrian advance to prepared positions 
behind the crest of the mountains. On January 26 and 27 
the Russians turned on the invaders, and after a hotly 
contested running fight compelled all the Austrians to fall 
back through the Dukla and Lupkow passes to positions 
which they had in their turn fortified for use in case of 
retreat, on the Zboro-Mezo Laborez line, where a seven days' 
battle was fought, ending with the Austrians being driven 
out of their entrenchments with a loss of 170 officers, 10,000 
men, and a quantity of guns and war material. The Rus- 
sians now were eight miles or so south of the Galician 

This Austrian invasion of Galicia was made with a large 
force acting on a concerted plan. Every pass over the Carpa- 
thians had been brought into use, and every railway leading 
from the interior of Hungary had been made available 
for bringing up troops and supplies. Altho the movements 
took place along a front extending for more than 200 miles 
from the Dukla to the Kirlibaba passes, the three main 
columns kept in touch with one another throughout the ad- 
vance. The conception of the undertaking was doubtless the 
work of Hindenburg, but the executive direction must also 
have been in good hands, for there was no hitch to the strateg- 
ical arrangements which led to the deployment of a force 
amounting to something like 600,000 men along so extended 
a front. Strategy did its work, and did it well ; but the main 
fact here was the stolid, stubborn, enduring Russian soldier 
never seen at his best till standing on the defense, when full 
scope was given to his virile fighting qualities. Then he 
was hard to beat. In attack he was less successful, not 
from shortcomings on his own part, but because of difficult 
conditions under which he had to fight, with scanty com- 
munications available to keep men supplied with ammuni- 
tion, of which the expenditure with modern quick-firing 
weapons was so enormous. 

In order to prevent troops from being detached from 
Central Poland while the invasion of Galicia was in prog- 
ress, Mackensen was instructed to make another determined 
attempt to break through to Warsaw, no matter how great 
the cost might be. Owing to the difficulty in making a way 



across the Bzura river north of Sochazew, where the country 
between the river and Warsaw alternated between dense 
forests and impassable marches, the German Commander 
abandoned further effort in this direction, and, after leaving 
enough troops to hold on to the German trenches on the left 
bank, moved the bulk of his force down to the Rawka river, 
and then crossed over to the right bank for the purpose of 
attacking the Russians, who there were strongly entrenched. 
Finding the Russian position strong, and the defense well- 

Among these were Tartars, Bashkirs and Kirgises 

organized, Mackensen sent back for reinforcements, and by 
the end of January had concentrated as many ' as seven 
divisions. Then began a long and sanguinary battle, lasting 
from the 29th of January to the 5th of February. One of 
the most determined of all the German attacks was made 
on the 31st of January, when as many as twelve regiments 
were sent against the Russian lines at Humin. 

Further south on the frontier the German offensive had 
failed. A series of battles of secondary importance had 


followed, but, as a net result, after three months of effort, 
the Teutonic position was hardly better than it was on New 
Year's Day, The Germans had gained ground in East 
Prussia and reconquered strategical backwaters in the Pruth 
valley, but they were eventually to lose Przemysl. For two 
weeks full reports came of fighting on the Bzura and Rawka 
rivers. In its main outlines the fighting resembled that in 
Flanders. There was plenty of mud; more work for picks 
and spades than for rifles; continuous shelling and sniping. 
These rivers (more especially the Bzura, which is lined by 
marshes on either bank) offered a splendid field for firing, 
but made rapid advances impossible. Such advantages were 
lost as soon as frost came, when the river ceased to be a 
serious obstacle, and so the tactical situation was radically 

Early in February was reached a culmination of siege- 
warfare that had been carried on for six weeks. Since 
January 30 the ground had been as hard as a rock. On a 
front of not quite seven miles the Germans deployed seven 
divisions, supported by the fire of one hundred batteries. 
During a single hour these batteries dropt 24,000 shells 
on Russian trenches. The Germans attacked in close for- 
mation, with a depth of from ten to twenty-one men, and 
gained some ground, only to lose it. The concentrated fury 
of the German attacks came to a climax when, from a 
confusion of bursting shells, point-blank slaughter by rifle- 
fire and bayonets, and an overhanging mass of poisonous 
chemical smoke, the Russians charged across three lines 
where the Germans had intrenched themselves after a tre- 
mendous fight. Mackensen made his crucial effort by swiftly 
forcing a picked army of 100,000 men, backed by nearly 
600 guns of all calibers, pouring shells without pause, into a 
comparatively open gap . of country six wide, which 
had for its main features a deserted distillery on the north, 
near Gumine, and in the south, near Bolimow, in a woody 
park, the large manor house of Wola-Szydlowiecka. 

The Germans maintained a hurricane of shrapnel over 
well-concealed Russian shelters. Many guns fired shells 
charged with suffocating gases. But the Russians remained 
unshaken even when the Prussian Guards were brought up 


from Lowicz. When the German supreme effort was spent, 
the Russians rose up through the smoke and doubled for- 
ward on the low, broken walls around the distillery, where 
the Germans had been working fifty machine-guns, and cap- 
tured fourteen of them, while a desperate close-quarter fight 
ensued. The Russians, at the southern end of the battle, 
found a weak position in the German line, and through this 
poured into the park at Wola-Szydlowiecka. About an hour 
later the Germans were driven back from the mansion, 
leaving, it was said, thousands of dead. Russians declared 
that the Germans lost about 30,000 killed in this six-mile 
battle. Many fell before the bayonet. 

On February 7 began a Russian counter-stroke. From 
the right bank of the Vistula was directed a cross-fire 
against the Germans on the left bank of the Bzura, near 
its confluence with the Vistula, and subsequently attacks 
were pushed home around Kamien and Vitkovice. On the 
same day the Russians made progress in the angle between 
the Bzura and Rawka, and then the Germans settled down 
on the Bzura-Rawka front. During one week they were 
said to have suffered 40,000 casualties, but German and 
Austrian papers gave no hint or suggestion of this fierce 
fighting in front of Warsaw. A month later, the Russian 
army fell back on the Rawka and Bzura, where, during the 
whole of that time, fighting was almost incessant. The 
Russian line, save for readjustments of front and small 
strategic variations at certain points, remained the same as 
on December 19. Neither army succeeded in gaining ter- 

The whole long line began to have the appearance 
of a stalemate. The Germans continued their efforts, but 
they no longer made terrific attacks on twenty or thirty 
positions at once. As far back as January a Russian army 
of unknown strength and accompanied by a large force of 
cavalry had begun to move up the right bank of the lower 
Vistula, advancing at first between the Skwra and Wka 
rivers, and then gradually extending its line east and west 
toward the frontier of West and East Prussia. The advance 
was slow, as the roadways were blocked with snow, while 
away from roads the country was cut up by marshes and 



numberless small tributary streams which fed the two rivers 
on their way down to the Vistula. No serious opposition 
was encountered till within some twenty miles of the fron- 
tier, when Russian cavalry came up against detachments of 
German troops who were watching the approaches to the 
frontier from the south. Successful actions then took place, 
the German troops fallng back before the Russians, who 
pushed their cavalry patrols close up to Lipno. only eighteen 
miles from Thorn, and to Chorzele. about ten miles north 
of Przasnysz. Simultaneously with this movement, the 
Tenth Russian Army, which had been marking time for 
three months in its positions east of the Masurian Lakes, 
began to retake the offensive from Pilkallen on the north, 
and Lyck on the south. The troops at Pilkallen crossed the 
Xiemen. destroyed the railway-station at Pogegen, and 
threatened Tilsit. 

The German Emperor had transferred his headquarters 
from the West to the East, where Hindenburg. undaunted by 
his failures, was preparing a new offensive movement against 
the Russians in East Prussia. Hindenburg had brought 
from the west the Twenty -first Corps, which had been with 
the Bavarian Crown Prince, and three reserve corps. From 
elsewhere he got the Thirty-eighth and Fortieth Corps, 
which were new formations and borrowed the equivalent of 
three corps from other parts of the Eastern Front, includ- 
ing the better part of a Silesian Landwehr corps and a 
reserve corps of the Guard. He had thus accumulated a 
total force of nine corps over 300,000 men to hurl upon 
General Sievers' 120.000. The force was organized in two 
armies, the northern, commanded by General von Eichhorn, 
operating on the Insterburg-Lotzen line, and the southern, 
under General von Below, on the Lotzen-Johannisburg line. 
The German advance was prest along the whole Tilsit- 
Johannisburg line. According to custom the left wing swept 
in an enflanking movement east of Tilsit in the curve formed 
by the Lower Xiemen. The Russian right, in front of 
Pilkallen and Gumbinnen, was compelled to retire to avoid 
envelopment. The natural line of its retreat was along the 
railway to Kovno. 

A bare outline gives little idea of the difficulties of the 



operation. For an array to fall back seventy miles 
under the pressure of a force three times its superior 
and based on a good railway system, would be a diffi- 
cult feat at any time. More than half of Sievers' army 
had no railways to assist them, but had to struggle with 
their guns through blind forests choked with snowdrifts. 
The Russian losses were large, but in the circumstances 
moderate. The Germans claimed 75,000 prisoners and 300 
guns. The chief Russian loss was in General Bulgakov's 
Twentieth Corps, that the Ger- 
mans asserted they had com- 
pletely destroyed. But during 
the fortnight which ended on 
the 20th, at least half of that 
corps, and more than two- 
thirds of its guns, safely made 
their way through the Augus- 
tovo and Suwalki woods to the 
position which had been pre- 
pared for the Russian defense. 
The battle of Augustowo 
Wald began on February 7. 
after Hindenburg had trans- 
ported German troops from 
Poland to East Prussia, and 
new troops had been brought 
up from inner garrisons. 
His total reinforcements were 
five corps. Concentrating around Gumbinnen. this German 
army advanced simultaneously with another army, which had 
made preparations behind Lyck. The Russian line z : gzagged 
across East Prussia, south of the Memel, east of Ragnit. to 
Gumbinnen, wedging forward along the line of the An- 
gerrapp and back through the Masurian Lakes to Lyck. 
Since mid-November the Russians had held this line. A 
third of the rich East Prussian farmlands was behind their 
line. Not able to advance with their cannon, the Russians 
came up with them, forcing their way through a storm of 
snow. They tried with carbine-fire to cover the retreat of 
their guns, but the Germans proceeded to shoot live horses 




that were standing in their traces and piled then* up, the 
dead and the living, to block the road of escape. Supported 
by captured cannon, the Germans rushed on. A battle fol- 
lowed in the streets of Eydtkuhnen, and by midnight the 
Germans had driven the Russians into Wirballen. Captured 
cars were found filled with boots and fur-lined garments, 
and Russian field-kitchens filled with food, a welcome cap- 
ture, since, for two days, the Germans had lived on knap- 
sack rations. North of Ragnit, as far as the Baltic, the 
Russians were driven back across the frontier. Thus the 
battle went on from February 10 to the 21st, the crumbling 
Russian Army of East Prussia, under Ruszky's command, 
being pushed from the north against the troops of Below 
on the south. Russians, pouring out of East Prussia, at- 
tempted a stand at Suwalki, fighting as they ran down the 
road to Augustowo, where they were met by Eichhorn's 
army, which had marched from Augustowo, 120 kilometers, 
through the snow in two days. Below, coming across from 
Lyck, made a junction with Eichhorn, and pursued the 
Germans into forests and a frozen swamp. 

Hindenburg then attempted to strike at Warsaw by send- 
ing an expeditionary army down the Narew river. Leaving 
only a containing force to face the Russians, he detached 
the bulk of his troops and before the concentration was 
complete sent three corps across the frontier with orders 
to seize Przasnysz, a great road center, and to link them up 
with a German army, which had been moving slowly for 
some weeks up the right bank of the lower Vistula. 
Przasnysz was captured on February 25, but the German 
success was short-lived, for the Russian position on the 
Narew was stronger than anywhere else in Poland on ac- 
count of three railway lines which converged on Ostrolenka. 
After* a two days' battle, Przasnysz was recaptured on Feb- 
ruary 27 and the Germans, who were caught between two 
fires, were driven back toward Mlawa and Chorzele. The 
battle of Przasnysz restored prestige to Russian arms, and 
came as an opportune set-off to the defeat of the Tenth 
Russian Army earlier in the month. 

Early in February the Russians made a swift move in the 
Bukowina east of Galicia and west of Roumania. Three 



towns were captured. The political effect of this success, 
as affecting the participation of Bulgaria and Roumania in 
the war and the subsequent relations, of the Balkan States 
seemed then important. The Russians occupied Cypot, 
Kameral, and Illischestie on the direct route from the 
Bukowina to Transylvania. The Bukowina was a Duchy 
and Crownland of Austria, sandwiched in between Galicia 
and the northwestern frontier of Roumania. The name 
means the country of beech trees. A great portion of it is 
forest clad. It lies among the southern spurs of the woody 
Carpathians. Czernowitz, its capital, had about 70,000 in- 
habitants. The population of the whole country was some 
three-quarters of a million, of whom about 40 per cent, 
were Ruthenians and nearly another 40 per cent. Rouma- 
nians, the remainder being a Balko-Hungarian mixture of 
Magyars, Germans, Poles, Jews and gipsies. 

The Roumanian people in the Bukowina and in Transyl- 
vania were not settlers who had come across the Roumanian 
frontier, but people whose roots lay deep in their history. 
Roumania herself was a geographical anomaly. It was 
curious to find here in Eastern Europe a Latin enclave 
surrounded by Slavs and Hungarians. Not only did Rou- 
manians speak a Latin tongue resembling Italian but, in 
spite of .all mixtures with Slavs, Turks, and Greeks, many 
retained strong evidence of Italian blood. Roumanians are 
descendants of Trajan's Roman colony of Dacia. The ex- 
planation for the survival of a Latin people in the Buko- 
wina and in Transylvania lay in the fact that Trajan's 
original province included both districts and was much 
larger than modern Roumania. Apart from this ancient 
tie, Roumanians had set up a more modern claim to the 
Bukowina. Roumania was created a Kingdom in the 19th 
century by a union of the two provinces of Moldavia and 
Wallachia, which were formerly Turkish, and the Bukowina 
was once a part of Moldavia, Suczava in the Bukowina 
having been once the Moldavian capital. 

About February 24, the center of operations shifted to the 
sector of the Russian "barrier" facing the southern edge 
of East Prussia. A German advance in force against 
Przasnysz began on February 20, when the Russian forces 



in that region consisted of only one brigade of infantry and 
small bodies of cavalry. By a wide turning movement, 
which passed east of Przasnysz, the Germans totally out- 
flanked the Russians until they surrounded them. On Feb- 
ruary 25 the Russians had to evacuate Przasnysz with little 
hope of escaping destruction, but just then relief came. 
The Germans were unable to prevent the Russian reinforce- 
ments from crossing the river, and in the battle of Krasno- 
sielee, some Germans who had surrounded Przasnysz from the 
south were in turn enveloped. It was a confused and des- 
perate battle that ensued on February 26 and 27. On the 
28th the Germans began to retreat, leaving perhaps ten 
thousand prisoners in the hands of the Russians. Eight 
to ten German army corps were said to have been gathered 
on the "Willenberg-Soldau line for this new attack on 
Przasnysz, but this was perhaps a fantastic exaggeration of 
their numbers. The Germans again advanced by parallel 
progress along the valleys of the Orzec and Omulec, and 
fighting occurred on the entire front. 

The German winter campaign in East Prussia, which at 
first seemed to offer unusually good chances of success, had 
thus ended. After marked success in the first week it 
closed with practically aimless fighting. It was doubted 
whether a comparison of the losses suffered on both sides 
during the entire campaign would give an advantage in 
their favor. The Russian ''barrier" on the Vistula had 
been tested once more and found equal to its task. The 
fortress of Osoweic had withstood attacks such as no western 
fortress had as yet survived. The Russian retreat from 
East Prussia may have been only a " strategic retirement," 
but it had seemed a substantial German victory, altho not 
a decisive one. To Germans this repetition of Hindenburg's 
earlier success in the Masurian Lakes region meant, first, in 
the Kaiser's words, that "our beloved East Prussia is free 
from the enemy"; and, in connection with a reported Rus- 
sian evacuation of Bukowina, portended a general advance 
along the whole Eastern battle-front from the Bukowina to 
the Baltic, with the Russians already "rolled up in many 
portions of the line." Petrograd, however, was said to be 
taking it all very calmly, considering that the German 



forces had failed" to deliver the crushing blow that was 
intended. Successful in the Carpathians and before War- 
saw, the Russians fell back before the German advance in 
East Prussia only to take up a strong defensive position 
within their own borders. 

The fighting about Warsaw had been one of undoubted 
disappointment to both sides to the Russians, because they 
had been forced time and again to cancel their plans of 
invasion in the north and south, in order to reinforce their 
center and yet had been unable to gain a firm upper hand 
even before the Polish capital; to the Germans, because, at 
a cost of perhaps some hundreds of thousands of men, they 
had gained nothing but the temporary possession of a tract 
of snowy waste. The whole winter campaign of Warsaw 
showed a stubborn conflict, long drawn out, but it had 
given little help to either contestant. 

By the beginning of March, the Russian counter-attack 
had set in and from Kovno to the Narew the Germans 
were being pushed back. On March 5 the German attack 
on Osoweic ended, and their big howitzers were shipped 
back on railway carriages. Hindenburg, after announcing 
that he had never meant to cross the Niemen, gave orders 
for a gradual retreat to the East-Prussian frontier. On 
March 8 there was desperate fighting about Seyny and 
Augustovo, and the Russians made captures of German sup- 
plies. By the middle of March, Hindenburg had drawn 
back his left and left -center to a position some ten miles 
inside Russian territory, and covering his own frontiers. 
Not only had the Niemen line proved impracticable and 
Osoweic impregnable, but further south on the Narew a great 
battle had been fought and lost. 

On the 22d the Germans captured Przasnysz, taking a 
number of guns and about half an isolated brigade. The 
Russians were now hard prest for munitions and arms. 
At Przasnysz soldiers were flung into the firing-line without 
rifles, armed only with a sword-bayonet in one hand and two 
bombs in the other. That meant desperate fighting at the 
closest quarters. The Russians had to get at all costs 
within range in order to throw their bombs, and then they 
charged with cold steel. This was berserker warfare, a de- 



fiance of all modern rules, a return to the conditions of 
primitive combat. But it succeeded, and the Germans gave 
ground before numbers who were not their equals. The 
battle of Przasnysz decided the fate of Hindenburg's new 
bid for Warsaw, which had been made by a flank movement. 
About the same time when the siege of Osoweic failed, the 
Twenty-first Corps falling back from the Niemen, the whole 
movement languished. As a result Hindenburg merely had 
his northern front inside the Russian frontier. 

The Germans in the East had now to make choice from 
several possible lines of action. They could press their 
gains in East Prussia at one extreme of their frontier line, 
or in Galicia at the other, or .they could stand on the de- 
fensive and wait. By means of their railway facilities they 
might move their forces rapidly for a succession of blows 
north and south alternately; or, by abandoning the east for 
the time being, and leaving only a minimum of troops for 
its temporary defense, they could throw the bulk of their 
armies from the Eastern to the Western Front. One thing 
alone they could scarcely hope to accomplish unless con- 
ditions at other points underwent some favorable change. 
That meant to resume, with success at an early day, their 
attacks on Warsaw, but before the summer was over they were 
able to accomplish this in a .way that startled a world 
ignorant of the great Russian weakness in material equip- 
ment. Looking back, however, on the campaign which had 
been carried on so strenuously on the Eastern Frontier 
for six months, there was as yet little to show for the fear- 
ful wastage caused. The Russian invasion of Germany had 
been checked, but the menace was still there, and nothing 
which Hindenburg had yet done had been able to remove it. 

Przemysl, which fell on March 22, was the chief fortress 
of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and one of the greatest 
fertresses in Europe. Its fall involved the surrender of a 
garrison of nine generals, ninety-three superior officers, 2,500 
subaltern officers and officials, and 117,000 men of the rank 
and file. Thus was lost to the Teutonic Allies an army 
equipped with a train of artillery, including guns of the 
modern type. The forces within Przemysl exceeded the 
number required for an effective defense. Their original 



strength must have been about four army corps at least 
so it appeared after a siege of four months and a series of 
desperate sorties with 120,000 men still remaining in the 
fortress. A garrison of sixty-thousand would have been 
sufficient for its defense ; a greater number merely hastened 
the day of surrender. The excessive size of the garrison 
and the deficiency in supplies were alike due to one cause 
the unexpected turn in the course of the war which had set 
in after Tannenberg toward the end of October. 


The Russian siege of Przemysl had originally begun as 
early as September 16, and was then temporarily raised on 
October 14, when the Russian troops fell back to the line 
Medyka-Stary-Sambor, their retreat effected in good order. 
Before retiring they blew up bridges and destroyed large 
sections of railway and roads, so that it was not until 
October 23 that another train from the west entered 
Przemysl. The siege was renewed on November 12. Ex- 
perience at Port Arthur had taught the Russians many les- 



sons concern 'ng modern fortresses. They did not try to 
take Przemysl by storm. With inadequate siege-artillery at 
their disposal, any attempt on their part to rush the forts 
or trenches would have been difficult and expensive. For 
years Austrian engineers had been preparing it for a pos- 
sible siege. Austrian artillery men knew the exact range 
of every point around it. The Russian siege-army was com- 
manded by General Selivanoff, who constructed his own 
defense works. 

Przemysl was a fortress with a circumference of twenty 
miles, surrounded now by an outer ring of Russian counter- 
fortifications, so strengthened as to offer effective resistance 
to any attempts on the part of the garrison to break through 
the Russian lines. While the Russian ring was being forti- 
fied, Russian troops were approaching the forts by means 
of saps slow and weary work, but sure to be more effec- 
tive than direct attacks, and to cause far smaller loss of 
life to the besieging army. The fall of Przemysl rendered 
available for further operations in the Carpathians a Rus- 
sian army . of more than 100,000 men. What was more, it 
secured for the Russians full freedom in using an excellent 
system of railways covering the quadrangle between Lewow, 
Stryj, Jaslo and Rzeszow. 

There was vain talk now of a Russian capture of Krakow, 
of overleaping the Carpathians, of the roads to Berlin and 
Vienna being open, of the elimination of Austria as a factor 
in the war, and of the probability of Austria concluding a 
separate peace. Vain as were these expectations, the result 
was of substantial value. In itself the Austrian defeat was 
on so vast a scale not less than 2,500,000 fighting men 
being engaged from first to last and the battles for it 
were so gigantic that, judged by any standards in history, 
the campaign around this fortress ought to rank as one of 
the war's greatest events. In comparison with this, and 
with battles that had been fought around Lemberg, Grodek, 
Rawka-Ruska and Tomaszow, most of the famous earlier 
battles in history were trifling. 

The fortresses of Belgium that fell in August, 1914, had 
fallen swiftly, before the most effective machinery of at- 
tack that ever approached a fortified place, and before the 



most efficient organization that ever carried on a siege with 
the rapidity of a bombardment and the precision of clock- 
work. Przemysl was reduced slowly, with infinite patience, 
and without the use of heavy howitzers and a clockwork 
system which were all on the side of the defenders. Its 
fall was evidence that persistence and courage still could 
work against the most perfect fortress defenses possible to 
the whole art of war. The siege was remarkable in that 
throughout its duration the Russian commander had to 
wage a double war that within the fortress zone, and that 
against four successive relief attempts from German and 
Austrian armies from without. It was twice interrupted, 


and once entirely broken off. It thus became difficult to 
compare its duration with that of other sieges. Altho the 
place was first attacked in the opening days of September, 
it was not systematically bombarded till September 20 ; its 
complete investment did not take place until later, and then 
for a month nothing like a state of siege existed. Its de- 
fenders, meanwhile, had been able to replenish their stores. 
During December pressure from within and without brought 
a pause in the operations, and for a while the Russians, 
without actually loosening their grasp, were on the defen- 
sive. The final operations began in January and led slowly 
up to the capture of the outer forts on March 19. 



As an achievement, the capture of Przemysl in three 
months of unhindered effort, in the depth of winter, by a 
force inferior to the besieged in armament and technical 
ability stood out as evidence of Russian military virtue. 
Until Przemysl fell, there could be no safe Russian advance 
southward into the Carpathians for fear of an advance on 
the fortress from Krakow, eighty miles to the v/est. Like- 
wise, any Russian plan to move on Krakow was held in 
check by fear of an Austrian advance over the Carpathian 
passes. But with Przemysl taken, the Russian point of 
weakness was turned into a point of strength from which the 
Czar's armies could move safely west against the Germans 
and south against Hungary. The Russians were gainers by 
much more than the release of the 100,000 or more men 
employed in the operation, for at least twice that number 
were freed from the duty of bolstering up the Russian line. 
In addition the Russians gained storehouses and a distribut- 
ing point for munition, more favorable in some respects than 
Lemberg, and possession of an uninterrupted line of rail- 
road from Tarnow in the west. 

Przemysl was founded in the eighth century, and rose to 
some importance in the Middle Ages. Most of its popula- 
tion was annihilated in the seventeenth century by inroads 
of Tartars from the south, Cossacks from the east, and 
Swedes from the north. Its population in -1900 was 46,000, 
one-third of whom were Jews. The town is picturesquely 
situated on the San about 140 miles east of Krakow. On 
a hill above it are ruins of an old castle said to have been 
built by Casimir the Great. The Austrian Government 
from 1890 to 1900 spent over $5,000,000 on its twelve 
permanent forts, with double that number of lunettes look- 
ing toward the north and east. 

Around the northern plain of Hungary from Pressburg, 
on the Danube near Vienna, to Orsova, on the Danube facing 
Roumania, stretch the Carpathians in a widespread arc. 
East and north of the Danube for about 800 miles they 
form for that region the boundary of Hungary. The hollow 
of this arc, and the most favorable points of approach into 
these mountains, lie south toward Hungary. Troops from 
the north, or from the convex side, the side from which 



the Russians had Jo come, faced the least favorable passes, 
and operated with the least shelter from biting winds. 
While the average height of the Carpathians is low, they are 
lofty enough to check blizzards and ice-winds from Russia 
and so to deflect them from Hungary. Warm southern 
breezes are caught and broken among these mountains and 
so prevented from reaching into Galicia. The Carpathians 
form the eastern wing of the great central mountain system 
of Europe. Steep and craggy along their northern expanse, 
they fall away toward the south in lesser groups with 
broken, sloping plateaus. Except for parts of their eastern 
ramifications, which belong to Roumania, the range lies 
within Austro-Hungarian territory. They attain their great- 
est height in the Hohe Tetra group, near the center of the 
range, just east and south of Krakow. Here also they have 
their greatest width. The passes vary in length from 7 to 
230 miles. Peaks rise to 8,000 feet; the Gerlsdorfer, the 
highest, reaching to 8,737 feet. 

The Carpathians have no formations to compare with 
Alpine groups, or with our own Rockies, but there are in- 
numerable peaks, which vary in altitude from 5,000 to 7,000 
feet. Because of the involved character of the passes, they 
have been for ages effective barriers against invaders. They 
separate Hungary from other States Moravia, Silesia, 
Galicia, Bukowina, Moldavia, and Roumania. Some of the 
most destitute people in the world live in this mountain 
range and on its forest-covered sides, mostly Polish Slavs 
with homes on bleak, northern exposures, a people almost 
in subjection to the Magyars of the south. The Carpathians 
are richer in metallic ores than any other mountain group in 
Europe. Gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, coal, petroleum, 
salt, zinc, and other minerals are mined there. 

Along the Galician front of the Carpathians the position 
of the Russians about the first of the year 1915 was one of 
distinct advantage. The lines of the San and Dniester, in 
themselves would have been sufficient for mere defense, or 
for a war which aimed primarily at attrition. But instead 
of that, the Russians were holding in Galicia all the passes 
leading to Hungary. From the eastern part an invasion 
could be contemplated only in cooperation with Roumania. 



For a purely Russian invasion the natural, route was further 
west on the road followed in 1849 when Hungary was saved 
to Francis Joseph I by Russian intervention. That road 
leads through passes around Dukla. Prolonged siege- 
warfare is impossible in the Carpathians. Trenches could 
be used for the protection of particular positions, but there 
could be no continuous lines of trenches. 

About January 23 Teutonic forces began an advance on 
the passes along a front of over 200 miles, from the Dukla 
to the Kirlibaba. After the Teutonic failure in front of 
Warsaw, attacks round the Dukla and the Lupkow Pass lost 
their intensity, but an offensive by Teutonic forces in the 
east was being prest with vigor. One Austro-German army 
advanced through the Uzsok toward Sambor, a second 
through the Vereczke and Beskid passes toward Stryj, a 
third across Wyszkow toward Dolina, a fourth across the 
Jolonica toward Delatyn and Nadvorna, and a fifth across 
the Kirlibaba and Dorna Vatra passes into the Bukowina. 
Only the last two succeeded in reaching their objectives; the 
others, despite desperate efforts, failed to get north beyond 
the crest of the mountains. The eastern groups reached 
Stanislau on February 21, and followed the railway 
toward Kalisz, pressing in ft northerly direction toward the 

In the Uzsok Pass late in January snow lay several feet 
deep, while in the valleys roads were covered with mud and 
slush. Heavy transports had so broken up the roads as to 
put them almost beyond repair. Only severe frost could 
save them. Caterpillar-wheels could do good work on muddy 
roads, but could not be used on snow. Instead sledges had 
to be put under wheels, guns taken off and transported on 
other sledges. Sometimes an army would get on to a piece 
of ground where neither sledge nor wheel would work 
for example, on a steep slope where the road was under ice, 
and neither nailed boots nor "roughed" hoofs would obtain 
a foothold. Men had to crawl round such places while 
leading horses after them. When they reached some higher 
level they had to pull the transport wagons up with ropes. 

Under such conditions transporting even small guns was 
an arduous task, and shells could not be fired at the rate 



of thousands a day, as they sometimes were in other theaters 
of this war. Infantry attacks were in most cases difficult. 
It was almost impossible to remain unseen in the snow. 
Against white backgrounds men made excellent targets, 
whatever the color of their uniforms. Nights, even when 
there was no moon, were bright from the light reflected by 
the snow. Where there was no snow, entrenching was 
difficult, because, even if the surface was soft, the earth 
below was frozen. When the Austro-German campaign in 
the Carpathians began, each pass was practically an isolated 
theater of war; lateral connections had to be established 
between troops operating in various passes. Because of the 
great danger of becoming isolated and encircled, each corps 
had to follow carefully the general trend of events in its 
own neighborhood. 

The Austro-German armies opened attacks against the 
passes along a line of over two hundred miles. Between 
January 26 and February 6 Russian corps operating in the 
Lupkow were said to have made prisoners of 170 officers 
and 10,000 of the rank and file, but the Austrians still re- 
tained their hold on heights round Wola Michowska, east 
of Lupkow, and it was not until March 11 that the Russians 
took Smolnik and Lupkow. After a three-days' battle 
(January 23-26), the Austrians had captured the Uzsok, 
the ground round the Uzsok being such that it could not be 
held against a numerically superior enemy. Practically 
any position could be turned. The pass itself rises over 
2,500 feet, and is closely surrounded on all sides by mountains 
between 3,000 to 4,500 feet high. The slopes were covered 
by thick woods, under cover of which it was not possible to 
advance, even in the snow, without being seen. Positions 
on the southern side did not offer to the invader favorable 
fields of fire, the road and railway both following a winding, 
narrow depression, which was steep toward the Hungarian 
plain. In about twelve miles the road drops almost 1.500 
feet. The Austro-German attack on the Uzsok was prest 
with greater insistence than were the attacks made after- 
ward on passes west of it. From the Uzsok the forces could 
threaten railway communication by way of Sambor between 
Lemberg and Przemysl. 



On February 6 one of the most desperate battles yet 
fought in the Galician zone began in front of the Russian 
positions at Kozlowa. The Teutons tried to take the position 
by storm. On February 7 no fewer than twenty-two at- 
tacks had been delivered. Whenever the Teutons gained 
a footing, they were dislodged by furious counter-attacks 
with the bayonet. Attacks of this sort were repeated for 

the next few weeks. The last 

to be made before the fall of 
Przemysl had changed the 
whole character of the fighting 
in the Carpathians. 

Jm Meanwhile, the district of 

f**jF the Pruth in the Bukowina, or 

the Pokuce-Bukowina sector, 
had acquired significance. 
Hardly any Austrian troops 
then remained in the Bukowina. 
In January Russian troops ad- 
vanced in the southwestern 
corner and at the same time 
toward the Transylvanian 
frontier. From Gora Humora 
they marched toward Kimpo- 
lung over passes rising to 2,000 
feet and between mountains 


Eichborn was one of Hindenburg's ranging above 5,000 feet. The 

lieutenants in the east. He was c 

made military governor in the advance ceased about Jan- 
L'kraine in 1917. Exercising his 
power arbitrarily, he was assassin- 
ated by a Russian who threw a 
bomb at him while he was going 
home in Kieff 

uary 21 when an Austrian 
army of 50,000 men was heard 
of as approaching from Tran- 
sylvania. The Russian garrison 
of Czernowitz,- altho it numbered not more than a few 
thousand, sent help to their retreating comrades, and next 
day the whole Russian division withdrew from Czernowitz 
eastward. During six days a desperate battle raged be- 
tween Nadvorna and Kolomea the Austrians having 
brought by railway across the Jablonica a powerful train of 
artillery. The Russians threw fresh troops into the town, 
but were not able to hold it long and then a battle began 


VII 120 


in the broad valley between the two Bystrzycas and the 
Dniester. Between February 21 and March 4, the Russians 
captured 153 officers and 18,522 of the rank and file of the 
Austrian army. 

With the coming of March a much more important en- 
gagement was developed in the west. As soon as Przemysl 
fell the investing troops were sent to reinforce the Russian 
army threatening Hungary from across the Carpathians. 
The surrender became the signal for a rigorous offensive 
along the Dukla-Turka line, where the Grand Duke had 
concentrated a powerful army destined to secure possession 
of the Central passes, and then descend into the Hungarian 
plain. This offensive had .in fact existed all through the 
month, the battle-line having been advanced as far as the 
line extending from Regetow to Stropko, and thence to 
Wolosake and Bukowiec, four miles north of the Uzsok 
Pass. During the first week in April the right wing, ad- 
vancing more rapidly than the center and left" pushed the 
Austrians back through the Dukla Pass, and reached the 
valley of the Ordava at Stropko, large captures of prisoners 
being made on the way. The advance down the Laborocz 
river for more than ten days was slow. Severe fighting took 
place round Meso Laborcz, the Austrians trying to hold the 
Russians from the railway which follows the valley down to 
Homona. But their counter-attacks were repulsed, and the 
Lupkow and upper Laborcz passes were soon in Russian hands. 

Further east, after dislodging the enemy from fortified 
positions on the upper San, the Russians fought their way 
slowly to the Rustoki pass. By the middle of April they 
secured Carpathian boundary summits and southern slopes, 
from Regetow to Wolosake,. but had still ground to cover be- 
fore they could reach the valleys of the Ung and Latorcza 
and so make use of railways leading to Ungvar and 
Munkacs. The Uzsok, Tucholka, and Beskid passes still 
remained in possession of the Austrians, whose troops in this, 
direction had been reinforced by Germans from East 
Prussia, and Hungarians from the reserve army at Temesvar. 
The Germans were reported to have ten army corps on the 
Orosz Rusky-Kosziowa line with an equal number of Aus- 
trian corps. 

v. vn 9 121 


The Grand Duke Nicholas and Hindenburg had much the 
same object in view to strike at each other's communica- 
tions, and paralyze their respective offensive movements. 
The Russians were striving to reach into the Hungarian 
plain, and by seizing Ungvar and Munkacs cut the Austro- 
Oerman line of retreat to Budapest. The Germans, operat- 
ing north of the Carpathians, sought to make their way 
down the Stryj valley and turn the Russian left flank. 
Large forces had been massed by both commanders, for 
they saw the battle might have decisive results. Elsewhere 
on the extended Eastern Front the opposing forces were 
awaiting results in the Carpathians. Petrograd, Berlin, 
Vienna, London, Paris, all saw the meaning of the con- 
flict. The operations at the Dardanelles for a time lost the 
world's stage to the Carpathians, because the possible down- 
fall of Austro-Hungary seemed a larger thing than the final 
exit of the Turk from Europe. 

In Vienna and Berlin it was well recognized that the 
battle in the Carpathians marked a crucial point in Teutonic 
fortunes. More important than the military were the 
political issues involved. The capture of Przemysl, the at- 
tack on the Dardanelles, the far less considerable but ap- 
parently distinct, British success at Neuve Chapelle the 
cumulative effect of these had been unmistakable in dis- 
patches from Rome, Bucharest and Athens. A decisive 
Austrian defeat in the mountains would have meant an in- 
vasion of Hungary and would have made necessary the 
evacuation of Transylvania and Bukowina, and the opening 
of them to Roumanian invasion. An Austrian defeat in the 
Carpathians would have compelled an immediate withdrawal 
of Austrian troops from Russian Poland, for Krakow was 
the gate to Silesia and Berlin. 

One mass of the Austrian army was then holding the 
line before Krakow, not, however, as a protection for 
Vienna or Budapest, but rather as the first line in the de- 
fense of Breslau and Berlin. Hence, if Russian armies 
could penetrate into Hungary and threaten the Magyar 
capital, it was almost inevitable that Austrian troops east 
of Krakow would be recalled and the task of covering 
Silesia be left to Germany, which would have meant an 



end to German attacks on Warsaw. Indeed, it would 
probably have meant the withdrawal of Germans from the 
Bzura-Rawa line, to the Wartha, the evacuation of Lodz, 
the relinquishment of Germany's Polish conquests, and 
would have led to an eventual evacuation of East Prussia, 
provided pressure from the Allied armies in France and 
Belgium had created fresh need for German reinforcements 
in the west. 

Once the Russians reached the Hungarian plain, with 
three railroads and a national highway at their service, and 


a level plain a hundred miles broad on their front, they 
could have deployed masses and resumed the tactics which 
won in Galicia. The key to the whole operation was the 
Dukla pass, a narrow isthmus between the Galician and the 
Hungarian plain. Bartfa or Bartfeld, the first Hungarian 
town the Russians occupied, was only about ten miles south 
of the watershed which separated Galicia from Hungary. 
The storm center was on the crest of the Carpathians, where 
the Russians exerted every effort to gain a passage that 
would make it safe to invade in force the Hungarian, plain. 
The activity of the Germans in Poland had slackened, 
partly it was presumed because a considerable force had 
been drawn off for Hungary. Four army corps, or about 
160,000 men, chiefly Bavarians and Saxons, had been brought 



around by way of Budapest and sent north by rail to 
Ungvar, opposite the Uzsok pass. This became the chief 
point of attack. Fighting of the most desperate character 
went on in this region for a fortnight. A total of 33,000 
Austrians had been taken during the last week in March. 
But the Austrian War Office announced that the Russian 
attacks had been repulsed and that during March Austrian 
troops captured 183 officers, 39,042 men and 68 machine- 

When the Russians gained the Uzsok in addition to the 
Dukla and Lupkow passes, they had possession of the Car- 
pathian ridge for over twenty miles, a sufficient base from 
which to project a triangle of invasion into Hungary. From 
these passes railroads led down the valley to the Hungarian 
capital which was less than a hundred miles to the south- 
west. Such was the high tide of Russian fortunes in the 
Carpathians that was so soon to ebb at the Dunajec. 11 

"Principal Sources: The Tribune, The Independent, New York; The Morn- 
ing Post (London), The Times (New York), The Times (London), The London 
Times' "History of the War," The Daily Chronicle (London), The Run, The 
Evening Sun, "Bulletins" of the National Geographic Society, New York ; 
The Fortnightly Review (London), "Nelson's History of the War" by John 
Buchan, The Daily Mail (London). 



Part II 









April 22, 1915 June 22, 1915 

BY the end of April the scene of interest a scene with 
portentous outcomes was transferred from eastern to 
western Galicia, where the German Staff had concentrated 
a large Austro-Gerrnan army, with the object of striking a 
sudden blow at Russia. The plan had been carefully con- 
cealed, the concentration being carried out with the utmost 
secrecy. Until the storm burst over his head, these prepara- 
tions for it had been unknown to the Russian commander. 
Some six weeks had intervened between the fall of Przemysl, 
on March 22, and the opening, in the first days of May, of 
this great Austro-German offensive. The Russian invasion 
of the Carpathians had so far succeeded as to have com- 
pelled the Germans to direct against Russia the new forces 
they had accumulated during the winter. Russia's activities 
up to this time had provided her Allies in the west several 
months in which to complete preparations for an offensive 
of their own. Russia in the Carpathians had helped the 
Allies, in the same w T ay that Russia in East Prussia had 
helped them in 1914. 

Hindenburg, with Mackensen as his chief support, had 
conceived this eastern campaign, which began on April 22 
and led on August 4 to a success which he had sought in 
vain in the east for almost a full year the occupation of 
Warsaw. Army after army had been organized, concen- 
trated, and launched for Warsaw, but he had failed until 
now to obtain the results he expected. This was not the 
fault of his strategy, but was due to the skill of his Slav 
antagonist, who always knew when to stand and when to 
retire. Falkenhayn, at this period, had succeeded Moltke as 
Chief of Staff. 

Eight separate armies, collected in three groups, each 



group under its own command, were now put to use in 
another attempt to gain the much-sought prize. The first 
group, which Hindenburg took under his own direction, con- 
sisted of Below 's army in Courland, Eichhorn's on the 
Niemen, and armies commanded respectively by Scholtz and 
Gallwitz, to whom the Narew River region was given. By 
the middle of July these armies were deployed on a 300- 
mile front, extending from the Windau, in Courland, to the 
lower Vistula, between Thorn and Wloclawek. West of 
Warsaw, in the salient formed by the middle and lower 
Vistula, was the group commanded by Prince Leopold of 
Bavaria, who, besides his own corps, had command of the 
Austrian army under General Woyrsch, which was operating 
toward Ivangorod, on the left bank of the river. The third 
group was under Mackensen, whose army, chiefly composed 
of Prussian corps, was linked with that of the Archduke 
Joseph Ferdinand. The sphere of operation of the latter 
lay between the Middle Vistula and the Bug, the Archduke 
taking charge of the country west of the Wierpz, while 
Mackensen 's army was deployed east of that river. Further 
south were the armies of Linsingen and Pffamzer, watching 
the Russians on the left bank of the Zlota Lipa and Dniester 
rivers. The length of the entire front occupied by the op- 
posing forces approximated 700 miles, while the strength of 
the forces engaged was believed to have been not less than 
two millions on either side. 

Mackensen, who was in executive command in the south- 
ern region and was now to become a great German military 
hero, launched his attack from Neusandec against DimitriefF s 
left, which was driven out of Gorlice toward Jaslo in an 
initial success that was followed by an overwhelming attack 
directed by Mackensen in person, with the Archduke 
Frederick looking on, against the Russian center at Cziez- 
kowice on the Biala river, the infantry attack being pre- 
ceded by a heavy bombardment to which the Russians had 
no guns with which to reply. Driven out of their en- 
trenchments by an artillery bombardment, the Russians fell 
back behind the Wisloka which, rising in the Carpathians 
near the Dukla pass, flows nearly parallel to the Dunajec 
(from which the battle took its name, tho it has sometimes 




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"been known as the battle of Gorlice), till it reaches the 
Vistula at Ostrowck, about thirty miles above the confluence. 
Mackensen gave his troops no rest, but sent them promptly 
as a phalanx after the Russians, who lost heavily in prisoners 
on their way back to the San. On May 7 the German ad- 
vance guard crossed the Wisloka at Jaslo, and pushed the 
retreating Russians ten miles further back across a tribu- 
tary of the San. 

On May 10 the Austro-German army was deployed along 
this line, a remnant of the Russian army still clinging to 
the right bank of the Vistula, and yielding ground slower 
than the center and left wings which were exposed to the 


full force of the enemy's attack. Another Russian army in 
the neighborhood of the Lupkow pass began to fall back on 
the upper San in order to save its communications, which 
were being threatened by Mackensen 's advance. A further 
advance was made on May 11, Dynow and Sanok being oc- 
cupied on the 12th, and Dobrovil on the 14th, on which day 
Mackensen 's left wing reached the left bank of the San at 
Jaroslav north of Przemysl, the latter place being stormed 
by the Prussian Guard on the 15th. The whole of western 
Galicia was now in Teutonic possession, and Przemysl in 
danger of being invested. On May 11 the Austrians crossed 
the lower Vistula near Mielec and on May 12 reached Kol- 



buszova. During the next few days the Russians continued 
their retreat to the north, toward the confluence of the 
Vistula and San, fighting continuous rear-guard actions. 
Between May 15 and 17 a battle developed on this front, 
which was one of the few in this war fought thus far in 
the open without trenches. In any other war it would have 
been called a good-sized action. More than 100,000 men 
and perhaps 350 to 400 guns were engaged in it. 

Such were the conditions in the middle of May, so soon 
after the great Russian forces had seemed about to possess 
themselves of the plain of Hungary. When the Russians 
fled east from Jaslo, they uncovered the rear of their Car- 
pathian troops now facing Austro-Hungarian troops at the 
entrance to the Dukla Pass. Caught thus in a trap large 
numbers of them were captured, but at least one division 
cut its way through with heavy loss. A similar fate 
threatened the Russians in the Lupkow Pass, for the Austro- 
German advance pushed rapidly east toward the San. The 
broken Russian forces were approaching their last defensive 
positions in western Galicia, which were on the line of the 
San from Przemysl to Jaroslav and from Przemysl to 
Dubromil in the Carpathians. On May 15 the Austro- 
Germans had crossed the San north of Jaroslav, penetrated 
the defensive line at Dubromil, and were close to Przemysl. 
As yet the pursuit had not slackened. The victors had re- 
gained control of both ends of the Dukla and Lupkow 
passes and the Teutonic armies, which had been fighting on 
the Hungarian side of the mountains to hold back the 
Russian advance thus automatically released, were pouring 
through the passes into Galicia to support armies which had 
swept east from Tarnow. Thus had ended the Russian cam- 
paign in the Carpathians. Only north of the Uszok Pass 
did the Russians still hold any strong positions in the 
mountains. Retreat was inevitable. 

Meantime, a second Austro-German operation claimed the 
attention of the Russian command in Galicia, Could this 
offensive be pushed further with equal success the Russian 
hold on Galicia would be narrowed to a strip of territory 
between the Carpathians and the Russian frontier. At first 
the Austrian forces were brought to a temporary halt south 



of the Dniester and driven back behind the Pruth. Gather- 
ing all their reserves, the Russians had launched a vigorous 
counter-offensive and the Austrian line was rapidly prest 
back, so that all danger of an envelopment of the Russians, 
of a cutting of the life-line in Galicia, was ended. Only 
the failure of the Austrian offensive in the extreme east 
saved the Russians, whose hold on central Galicia had be- 
come very slight. All of western Galicia, and much of the 
eastern portion, had been completely lost. In a military 
sense the Teutonic victory was tremendous. Austrian con- 
ditions were now ameliorated and all chance of a Russian 
invasion of Hungary was ended. The explanation was 
found primarily in the superiority of German artillery, dis- 
cipline, and command, combined with a shortage of Russian 
ammunition. The disaster was evidence of facts demon- 
strated at Lodz, and the Masurian Lakes that neither 
Russian generals, nor Russian soldiers, were a match for 
the Germans, except in defensive fighting in trenches where 
the artillery of the two was approximately equal in effective 

After April 28, when Mackensen first swooped down un- 
expectedly on the army defending the line of the Dunajec 
river, the Russians met with nearly unbroken reverses. 
Mackensen had compelled the Grand Duke Nicholas to with- 
draw, first from one position, then from another, until nearly 
the whole of the territory he had conquered in September 
was won back. Mackensen, directing the Austro-German 
offensive from its first inception, then determined to break 
through the Russian center at Przemysl, and, by threatening 
Lemberg, force the Grand Duke to give up the Dniester line, 
and withdraw his armies behind the Bug. With this pur- 
pose he ordered a demonstration made all along the Dniester, 
in order to draw away Russian Droops from the center, 
where, astride the Jaroslav-Tarnow railway, he concentrated 
ten German corps from the flower of the German army. 
These ten corps were massed in close formation, one behind 
the other, and formed a phalanx practically irresistible. 
This phalanx was sent across the San between Sieniawa and 
Jaroslav, but suffered severely on the way. The Russians 
for a time held up its advance on the Lubaczowka river, 



where indecisive trench-fighting proceeded for more than a 
fortnight. The Austrians crossed the San, midway between 
Sieniawa and Przemysl, and attempted to march up the 
Wisnia river to Mosciska, while Mackensen completed the 
investment of Przemysl on three sides by detaching a force 
to attack the north forts. 

The next few days marked the beginning of one of the 
most desperate battles of the war. A Russian counter- 
offensive along the entire line opened on May 21, its aim 
not to save Przemysl but to render possible the evacuation 
of the place. Przemysl could not be held, most of its forts 
having been destroyed by the Austrians before its surrender 
in 1914. Those which had survived were too well-known to 
the Germans to be of much value to the defending Russian 
forces. The new works constructed by the Russians could 
not be compared in strength' with . those on which the 
Austrians had worked "for many years. Whatever there was 
of the fortress of Przemysl was bound to fall before the 
heavy Teutonic artillery. Its defense now was meant 
merely to retard the advance of the enemy. The Russian 
counter-offensive of May 21-25 was therefore planned as 
an enveloping movement against the envelopers of Przemysl. 
In face of the superior artillery of the enemy, the Russians 
were unable to cross the San, so that the advance of the 
enemy north of Przemysl was not long delayed. 

By the end of May only a zone about ten miles wide, 
running eastward from Przemysl past Mosciska toward 
Grodek, separated the Sixth Austro-Hungarian Army Corps 
from the Prussian Guard. Except for that the fortress was 
surrounded on all sides by the enemy, and on May 30 even 
the railway line from Przemysl to Grodek came, near 
Medyka, under fire of heavy Austrian batteries. As early 
as May 17 Przemysl had been invested from three sides. 
On May 30 the Bavarians captured Russian positions near 
Orzechovec, which covered the northern sector of the outer 
rings of forts. On the same day a violent bombardment was 
opened and infantry attacks were delivered against the en- 
tire northern and northwestern front. On May 31 the 
Bavarians concentrated again the fire of their heaviest bat- 
teries against the forts round Dunkoviczki. The bombard- 



ment was continued till 4 P'.M., when the fire stopt, and the 
enemy's infantry, consisting of one Prussian, one Austrian, 
and several Bavarian regiments, proceeded to storm the 
forts, which by that time had been changed into mere 
wreckage. Their garrison, decimated by the bombardment, 
could not resist much longer, and withdrew beyond the 
road which runs behind the outer ring of forts round 
Przemysl. On the night of June 2-3 the Teutonic allies 
entered the village of Zuravica, which lies within the outer 
ring of forts. 

The evacuation of the fortress occupied the Russians several 
days. The only part which they held with considerable 
forces was that which covered directly their line of retreat 
toward Grodek and Lwow. During the night of June 2-3 
the last of their forces withdrew to the east, and early in 
the morning of June 3 Bavarians and Austrians entered 
Przemysl. Its fall had been unavoidable from the very 
moment when the superiority of the Austro-German artillery 
and the enormous concentration of their troops had broken 
the Russian defenses on the Dunajec-Biala line. In anticipa- 
tion of the exhaustion of their ammunition supply, the 
Russians either destroyed or carried off all serviceable guns 
and war material before evacuating Przemysl, which was 
now only the shadow of the fortress it had been. No booty 
was left behind, and no prisoners were taken. None the less 
its fall was a heavy blow to the Russian cause. Inability 
to keep what had been conquered two months before could 
not fail to have a bad moral effect on an army already de- 
jected through defeat. Strategically the fortress in its dis- 
mantled condition had ceased to have value. Its fall, how- 
ever, released the investing Teutonic troops and removed 
a menace to Teutonic communications. 

On May 27 General Irmanoff, with a Caucasian corps 
which had been holding the line of the lower San from the 
Vistula to Rudnikj crossed the river, captured Sieniawa, 
and threw the enemy back behind the Leg. This movement, 
aimed at Teutonic communications, was immediately checked 
by Mackensen, who brought up reserves by rail and com- 
pelled Irmanoff to re-cross the river. Meanwhile Linsingen, 
with the original German army, moved up, and on June 5 



captured the bridgehead at Zurawno. Next day a large 
part of his troops crossed the river, and turned their faces 
toward Lemberg. The Galician capital was now threatened 
with a converging attack by Mackensen marching down the 
Lubaczowka, by Marwitz moving along the Przemysl-Lem- 
berg railway, by Bohm-Ermolli from the direction of 
Hussakow, and by Linsingen. 

The Grand Duke saw his danger, and met it with de- 
cision. Concentrating against Linsingen, he attacked on 
June 8, and after a three-days' battle drove him across the 
Dniester with heavy loss 15,000 prisoners and a quantity 
of war material being left in Russian hands. On June 10 
the Russian army was successful in a series of engagements 
along the line of the Dniester and on the Przemysl-Lem- 
berg railway it thrust back a strong attack by von Marwitz. 
The tide seemed to be turning in favor of the Russians, but 
on June 13 Mackensen, always alert and ready to pounce, 
began a fresh attack with reinforced troops on a forty-mile 
front and the Russians, after an obstinate resistance, gave 
way. The primary cause of the German success was 
numerical superiority over the Russian artillery. The Ger- 
mans and Austrians had probably brought into the field as 
many as 4,000 guns, while the Russians seemed not to have 
had more than a third of that number. Without guns and 
ammunition the rifle and bayonet were powerless. The fire 
of big guns decided the battle before the infantry advanced. 

While these astounding events had been taking place in 
western Galicia, the Russian army had retired from the 
Bukowina as the Austrian right wing invaded it, but now it 
suddenly resumed the offensive, crossed the Dniester in 
force near Zalesczcki, attacked and defeated the Austrians 
in the neighborhood of Horodenka, and drove them back to 
the Pruth, capturing, it was said, 20,000 prisoners on the 
way, and reoccupied Nadvorne. Thus Mackensen 's victory, 
disastrous as it was to the Russian plan of campaign, was 
not yet decisive. The Russians had been defeated but not 
beaten. As their armies were still ''in being" this reverse 
could do little to relieve the pressure on Germany from 
the Allies in the west. If German troops were to be de- 
tached from the east to the west, or if Austrian troops were 


to be sent to the Italian frontier, this could only be done 
by weakening the line of defense in the east at some point 
where troops were necessary to oppose another possible 
Russian invasion. Herein lay the significance of the inter- 
vention at this time of Italy (May 25, 1915), which promised 
also, it was believed, to bring Roumania into the war-arena 
as soon as her crops were gathered. Between them the 
two powers could place and maintain in the field a fighting 
force of a million and a half of men. So great a reinforce- 
ment, thrown into the scale at such a time, could not fail 
to weigh heavily on the side of the Allies. 

There was something colossal in this battle of Galicia, of 



which the western world heard little in detail at the time, 
and which came usually to bear the name of the battle of the 
Dunajec. Germans and Austrians had thrown a million or 
more men into it, and so had the Russians. Each had been 
bringing forward fresh units daily, Germans transferring 
troops from the Western Front. The Kaiser himself was 
on the San, urging his soldiers and preparing to change the 
disposition of his armies, as soon as Italy should reach a 
decision. The battle had raged for days with great in- 
tensity. The Germans, during a fortnight, fired two to 
three million shells. German prisoners declared that the 
plan was to expel the Russians from Galicia at any cost, and 



then fling the new Teutonic force across Europe to pierce 
the Allied front in the west. Hindenburg was reported 
actually to have been on the Western Front preparing for 
an attack to be made there later. In spite of the success, 
the Teutonic losses had been heavy. During the first four 
days of a three weeks' battle, they were said to have aver- 
aged about 10,000 a day, some days amounting to 30,000 
and even 40,000 were named. In several regiments not more 
than one company was left. In all they may have lost a 
quarter of their infantry, including 40,000 prisoners. 

Until the first week in June, the battle continued with 
undiminished vigor between the Vistula and the Nadvorna 
region. On the left bank of the lower San, Russian troops 
pierced German lines and captured a position. But they 
had lost Przemysl. As a result of four weeks of vigorous 
offensive, the Germans had cleared the whole Carpathian 
barrier, driven the Russians into the Dniester plain, and 
behind the San, regained the entrance to passes on the 
Galician side of the mountains, and won back something like 
10,000 square miles, and so had completely wrecked the 
Russian campaign in the Carpathians. Germany had saved 
Austria, turned back a Russian host on the point of entering 
Hungary and retaken an area about as large as Belgium. 
Austrian and German reports claimed the capture of 175,000 
prisoners. All things considered, Russia could hardly have 
lost fewer than a quarter of a million men, an enormous 
amount of artillery and arms, and quantities of other mili- 
tary material. She had lost the hard-won fruits of nine 
months of fighting. 

The German troops in this offensive were new forma- 
tions who had been trained all winter and were just taking 
the field, stiffened by veterans of the Lodz and Mazurian 
Lakes campaign. The Germans used artillery in greater 
quantities than ever before in the east. To face this storm 
Russia had little artillery and less ammunition. There was 
even a suggestion that in many cases ammunition had failed 
her entirely, that threatened hostilities between Japan and 
China had held up shipments Japan was to send to Russia. 
For months Archangel had been icebound. The Russian 
High Command seemed to have attached too much im- 



portance to forcing the Carpathians and too little to pro- 
tecting the flank facing Krakow. German commanders had 
waited until Russia had sent her available reserves into the 
mountains and then they struck. The whole blow was well 
timed and instantly effective. 

What was most interesting now was whether Germany 
would send some of her victorious troops against the Italians 
or would continue her drive in the east. When Przemysl 
surrendered to the Russians two months before and the 
Russian van pushed through the middle Carpathian passes 
and threatened the Hungarian plain, Vienna had begun to 
count Galicia as a sort of Lombardy and Venice another 
pearl taken from the crown of the Dual Monarchy. But 
now Galicia was almost redeemed and Przemysl had been 
evacuated before the Teutonic allies isolated it. 

Soon Lemberg also fell, the Russians evacuating it, so 
that the Austrians might obtain no booty ; but the evacuation 
had been made inevitable by the general retirement of the 
Russian line. Great rejoicings took place in Berlin and 
Vienna. Lemberg was by far the largest city that t ad been 
captured by the Allies since the war began. Its military 
importance was chiefly that of a great railway center. No 
fewer than eight lines radiated from it and connected it 
with parts of Galicia and adjoining territory. Just as its 
capture by the Russians had enabled them to conquer two- 
thirds of the province, so its recapture promised to carry 
the fighting back to the Russian frontier. The Germans and 
Austrians had been abundantly supplied with ammunition; 
they literally sprayed the Russians with shells. 

The recapture of Przemysl and of Lemberg had appar- 
ently been assured when Japan at this time made new de- 
mands on China, accompanied by an ultimatum. Up to the 
middle of February she had sent to Russia over the trans- 
Siberian railway more than $40,000,000 worth of munitions, 
but when China demurred to her sudden and extreme de- 
mands, there rose unexpectedly the possibility of a second 
war in the Far East, and from that time the exports to 
Russia of guns and shells from Japanese factories were sus- 
pended since Japan had to make provisions for her own needs 
in the contingency of a war with China. The Chinese Gov- 

v. vii 10 137 


ernment yielded and then, that danger passed, the export of 
munitions to Russia was resumed, and apparently in large 
volume, but they arrived too late to save Russia. Dispatches 
from Tokio told of great accumulations at Vladivostok of 
munitions for Russia. Shipments arriving at that port were, 
in fact, in excess of the forwarding capacity of the trans- 
Siberian railway. 

That Russia could not be disposed of by her antagonists 
until her armies had been beaten and exhausted was a lesson 
that had come down from the Napoleonic wars in eastern 
Europe and especially from the ill-fated expedition to 
Moscow. Russia's territory was too vast and her chief 
centers were too far apart and too isolated to give any de- 
cisive character to an invasion. Warsaw might be aban- 
doned under pressure from the line of Brest-Litovsk, behind 
which the mobilization of August, 1914, was effected, but 
that would not have meant the elimination of Russia as a 
highly influential factor in the military situation. The 
Teutonic success on the whole could not yet be said to mean 
much in solid advantage. A longer line had been gained, a 
weaker front, a wasted province, and a ruined city, but for 
those gains a heavy price had been paid in lives sacrificed, 
stores of ammunition consumed, positions undermined or 
sacrificed on the French and Italian fronts. Moreover, the 
stubborn Russians were certain to return. But Germany 
was exultant. "Calais will follow," said some of the notes 
dropt into French and British lines by German airmen. In 
Berlin the popular enthusiasm was shown in the cry, "On 
to Paris!" which was heard everywhere, while Herman 
Ridder in his New Yorker Staats-Zeitung declared that "the 
way to London lies through Lemberg." It appeared that 
these wild rejoicings were due, less to the value of Austria's 
recovered province, than to a belief that this was only a 
prelude to more decisive events. 

Russia had now surrendered about all the territorial ad- 
vantages she had gained since the beginning of the war. 
Altho far from eliminated, she was reduced to a position 
where her forces, for the present at least, were of less stra- 
tegical value than they formerly were to the Allies in the 
west. Russia's shortage of ammunition was in due course 



to be repaired. For months she had had no new supplies, 
but there were new supplies on the way from America. By 
June 25 twenty thousand American freight-cars and four 
hundred American locomotives were due at Vladivostok 
from the United States. These would relieve the congestion 
at that port caused by supplies sent to Russian armies at 
the front. Vladivostok would now supply the needed guns, 
rifles, and ammunition. Armored cars were needed, hun- 
dreds of them, but Vladivostok would supply these also. 
The Russians needed dynamite, cotton, and food, and 


Vladivostok hoped to see them get all these. Guns, rifles, 
and ammunition were arriving from Japan and the United 
States and armored motor-cars by hundreds, mostly by way 
of Seattle, on vessels sailing direct to Vladivostok. Cotton 
was coming from New York by way of Panama in such 
quantities that, more than anything else, it had caused that 
condition, of congestion at Vladivostok which had forced 
Russia to place rush orders for more locomotives and cars. 
Cotton in bales was long piled high on the hills back of 
the city, waiting to be forwarded to Moscow for manufac- 



ture into blankets and uniforms. From Great Britain came 
guns, from France ammunition, from the United States nine- 
inch guns, and an amazing quantity of barbed wire to pro- 
tect trenches. Ships had been arriving at Vladivostok in 
such numbers and with such rapidity that they could not 
be accommodated at docks, and a temporary enlargement of 
the port had been effected. Huge gangs of men were put to 
building pontoon-piers and making shift-docks. Vessels, 
unable to squeeze into piers, were forced to tranship cargoes 
to lighters, but a shortage of lighters made even that method 
of discharging slow and the Russians had to build more 
lighters. Vladivostok, the Russians thought, would save the 
day for their armies. 

The Russians claimed, and perhaps with truth, that in 
the months of May and June the Germans lost more than 
250,000 killed and wounded men, besides prisoners who .fell 
into their hands. Russia for the moment had lost Galicia, 
but the Germans had gained no Sedan. Their battles seemed 
like Pyrrhic victories. The Grand Duke Nicholas always 
avoided decisive contests; he held on to positions long 
enough to compel his adversary to deploy his forces, and 
then retired protected by rear-guards. He repeated these 
tactics, not. once, but continuously, during this year's cam- 
paign. The skill with which he maneuvered his armies was 
beyond praise. There is no more difficult task for a com- 
mander than to withdraw his army from the battle-line 
without committing it to a decisive encounter, but this was 
what the Russian generalissimo did with unfailing success. 

The Germans were no nearer .their goal in August, 1915, 
than they were twelve months before, but day by day were 
receding from it. for a fifth ally, Time, was beginning to 
assert its influence, and promising in another year to be the 
dominant factor in the gigantic war problem. Mackensen's 
success on the Dunajec, and his advance through Galicia, 
were due to his having brought up an overwhelming mass 
of heavy and light guns against positions occupied by the 
army of Demitrius. Without those guns, and the ammuni- 
tion required for their service, his "phalanx" would never 
have hacked its way to Przemysl and Lemberg. 

As the Germans pursued their advances, the Russians 



continued to retire. Rear-guard actions cost the Germans 
heavy losses, with no appreciable gains. There was a set 
purpose about this steady Russian retirement. Retirement 
had never in history brought failure to Russia, but quite the 
contrary. The Russian spirit differed from that of western 
nations. It was not blunted by apparent retrogression, but 
consolidated and confirmed. Russia laughed at the Germans 
whom they now drew steadily on, who dared not go back, 
and who had to fight, when, how, and where it pleased 
Russia to have them fight. This had been the fate of all 
invaders of Russia from Charles XII of Sweden to Napoleon. 
Such was the philosophy with which many Entente observers 
found comfort at this time. They did not know no one 
knew, and few dreamed that before another year had 
passed all calculations deduced from past experience would 
be thrown to the winds by a revolution, in which the Czar 
was to be dethroned and put to death, and men called 
Bolsheviki were to come into power. 1 

1 Principal Sources : The Fortnightly Review, The Daily Chronicle, London ; 
The Times, The Tribune, The Literary Digest, New York ; The Times, Lon- 

The period illustrated is the summer of 1915, after the fall of Warsaw 



August 4. 1915 

WHILE the Germans were making almost uninterrupted 
progress in Galicia, Mackensen was preparing to 
strike the third German blow at Warsaw. He determined 
to move northward into Poland between the Vistula and 
the Bug with the intention of reaching Warsaw on the right 
bank of the middle Vistula. Russian Poland in this war 
had often been described as like a nut held within a cracker, 
one jaw of which was East Prussia, the other Galicia. In a 
military sense, Hindenburg was the upper, Mackensen the 
lower jaw.' Germany's gigantic movement in the east had 
thus far been an effort to bring these jaws together, and so 
crush Russia's military force. Had Germany been wholly 
successful, the plan would practically have destroyed the 
Russian military power; Russian troops west of the Bug. 
defending Warsaw and holding the railroads to Moscow, 
Petrograd, and Kiev, would either have been pounded to 
nothing or been captured. Little hope could then have re- 
mained to France or Great Britain of ultimate victory, for 
should Hindenburg and Mackensen then go west, little chance 
would have been left of freeing Belgium and liberating north- 
ern France. 

Such w r as the German view and it pointed to what 
the Germans really expected. Germany was more confident of 
success in July, 1915, than she had ever been since before 
the battle of the Marne. Should the Grand Duke be able, 
however, to escape from the jaws of the cracker; should his 
army elude destruction as Joffre's had done in August, 
1914; should he get his main forces safely behind the Bug, 
then, while the Germans would win a considerable advantage 
and much territory, their hope of a real decision would have 
been shattered, for once behind the Bug, the Russians would 
have been beyond the peril of an envelopment. The very 
vastness of Russian territory precluded a successful opera- 



tion. Only complete Russian disaster could satisfy German 

The weakness of the Russian position in Poland had re- 
vealed itself as a precarious salient, which depended on the 
integrity of two long railway lines which connected Warsaw 
with Petrograd, Moscow, and Kiev. In front of each lay 
the enemy from Mlaw to Shavli in the north, from 
Sandomierz to the Dniester in the south. At the apex stood 
Warsaw, the key of the Vistula. German armies were 
already pressing northward against the southern line. It 
was Hindenburg's business to balance this movement by a 
descent from East Prussia upon the northern sector. What 
had happened on the Dunajec, the Wisloka, and the San 
would happen on the Narew, the Niemen, and the Bug, once 
the railways were cut, and troops in the point of the salient 
were isolated, for it would be a marvel if they should be able 
to extricate themselves from such a trap. Warsaw would 
have to fall, and then would no longer be a Russian city, but 
a German rear-guard one. 

But Falkenhayn, then chief of the German Staff, to whom 
Hindenburg was chief executive officer, aimed at more than 
the conquest of a capital or a river line, or the occupation 
of a few thousand more square miles of Polish ground. His 
business was to shatter the Russian armies. To this end he 
fell back upon Germany's favorite enveloping strategy. His 
scheme was not over-confident. Germany had behind her 
all the advantages of speedy transport. Her shell supplies 
were still enormous, she had lost few guns, and the gaps in 
her ranks had been filled up from reserves. The reinforce- 




ments necessary for the great movement were obtained in 
some degree by drafts from the Western Front, but mainly 
by means of four new corps raised in Pomerania, Schleswig, 
and North Prussia and concentrated at Thorn. The German 
army which faced Russia after the fall of Lemberg was 
probably the most formidable yet launched against the 
Allies. The great onslaught involved every army on the 
Eastern Front, from the Baltic to the Bukowina; but for 
the moment the really vital attacks were made against the 
two lateral railways. 

Mackensen, who was soon to be made a field-marshal, had 
proved himself one of the ablest of the German generals. 
A Saxon by birth, he had risen, like Kluck, to high com- 
mand by sheer merit. He had been responsible for the great 
offensive of November, 1914, which gave Germany western 
Poland, and gravely threatened Warsaw. Hindenburg had 
accustomed the w r orld to look for sledge-hammer blows, and 
much of the new offensive was after the true Hindenburg 
fashion ; but there were elements of ingenuity which were not 
in his manner, and credit for these and for skilful tactical 
handling belonged to Mackensen. Germany never played 
her traditional game to more brilliant effect than in the 
movement now begun. It was more dramatic than her great 
sweep on Paris in August, for then she was working in the 
heyday of a first enthusiasm, whereas now she was stemming 
a hostile tide after long months of drawn battles. An army 
composed of forty-five corps opened battle on a front 
stretching over perhaps a thousand miles. In the extreme 
north a group of six army corps began on July 13 a second 
offensive against the Baltic provinces, while on the southern 
flank four army corps advanced against the line of the 
Niemen. The operations west of the Kovno-Grodno line 
were, however, at this time of only secondary importance. 

At least three army corps stood in front of Warsaw, be- 
tween the Vistula and the Pilica. Toward the end of the 
month they were reinforced by three more German and 
three Austro-Hungarian divisions, these six divisions being 
not included in the estimate of forty-five army corps. Be- 
tween the Pilica and the Roumanian frontier stood the 
"southern armies," which had borne the whole brunt of 



battle between May 2 and July 9. The strength of these 
six armies was put at not less than twenty-four army corps. 
The advance in the Baltic provinces took place in the second 
half of July and had for its aim to tie up Russian forces 
in that region and to prepare the ground for an enveloping 
movement from the north against the line of the Niemen. 
But the course which events assumed in the south deprived 
operations in Lithuania of immediate importance. 

It was soon apparent that, if Hindenburg forced the 
Russian defenses on the Narew, and Mackensen reached the 
Ivangorod-Cholm railway, the Warsaw salient would become 
untenable. The Grand Duke would have no alternative but 
to abandon the Polish capital, give up the line of the Vis- 
tula, and draw his army back behind the Bug. Threatened 
by an all-around enveloping movement, which had been 
carefully prepared and was being energetically carried out, 
Warsaw was in greater danger than it had been at any 
time during the campaign. Vigorous counter-attacks might 
save the situation, but it was doubtful if the Russian troops, 
after their recent reverses, were in a mood to resume the 
offensive. What was more probable was that the Grand 
Duke would sacrifice Warsaw to save his army. 

Before an Austro-German advance coming from the re- 
gion south of Warsaw, the powerful Russian fortress of 
Ivangorod interposed itself midway between the metropolis 
of the Poles and the north Galician frontier a stronghold 
of the first class, and forming the center of a defensive 
line guarding the southern approach. Especially important 
was it since it stood at the junction of railways from War- 
saw south, one of which ran southeast to Lublin, and the 
other southwest to Kielce. Ivangorod was 143 miles north- 
northwest of Przemysl, more than 60 miles from the Aus- 
trian border and about 60 miles southeast of Warsaw. It 
was situated at the confluence of the Wieprz and the Vis- 
tula the Vistula there of sufficient size to be navigable for 
large boats. Nine permanent works stood on the right bank 
of the Vistula and three on the left. Ivangorod, with Brest- 
Litovsk, Novo-Georgievsk, and Warsaw, formed the cele- 
brated Polish quadrilateral, the kernel of the Russian 
scheme for the defense of their frontier lands. 



The skies soon darkened for Russia along the whole front. 
General Kirchbach, commanding a mixed Moravian, Silesian, 
and Galician corps in Boehm-Ermolli's army, forced a 
crossing of the upper Bug at Sokal, altho a few days later 
General Brusiloff managed to clear most of the right bank 
as far up as Kamionka. In front of Warsaw, where the 
enemy's strength was lowest, the Blonie line was still held, 
but events south and north were speedily making it a posi- 
tion of danger. The advance of Mackensen and the Arch- 
duke Joseph was bound very shortly to make Ivangorod un- 
tenable, and the shortening of the Bzura front turned the 
flank of the Radom position. 

Far in the north there loomed up now a peril more remote, 
but not less deadly. On the 14th the left of Below 's army 
crossed the Windawa near Kurschany, and was sweeping 
round toward Tukkum, the half-way house between Windau 
and Riga, while his center was in front of Shavli, with the 
great guns of the East Prussian fortresses in support. 
Tukkum and Windau fell on July 20, and the advance on 
Mitau began, while the center was now east of Shavli. 
Farther south, on the Dubissa, the Russian line was forced, 
and Eichhorn's left wing advanced on Kovno. The fac- 
tories and depots at Riga began to move their goods and 
plants to the interior. Below was within twenty miles of 
Riga, and Eichhorn within sixty of Vilna. To extricate 
great armies from a narrowing salient along three railways, 
two of which might any day become impossible, in the face 
of an enemy so amply equipped, might well seem to demand 
a miracle for success. It meant that wearied troops must 
hold for a space of weeks the sides of the salient while the 
front retired. The easier path seemed to be to trust to 
fortresses, and hold out in the triangle, in the hope of some 
sudden gift of fortune such as even strong men sometimes 
flatter their souls may come. 

On July 19 Below began to move from the Dubissa toward 
the Aa and Swenta, his right and left flanks covered by 
large bodies of cavalry. On this day Gallwitz crossed the 
Narew near Pultusk, which was the signal for the Grand 
Duke to begin an evacuation of Warsaw. Next day reports 
showed that a general retirement of the Russian forces was 



in progress all along the front. On the 21st Russian troops, 
covering the western approaches to Warsaw, fell back to 
the Blonie-Nadarzyn line, and on the same day a division 
of Woyrsch's army crossed the Vistula at a point fifteen 
miles south of Ivangorod. On the 23d, after storming the 
bridgeheads of Rashan and Pultusk, Gallwitz crossed the 
Narew in force. On the 25th, Below in Courland reached 
Ponievite, and Scholtz, coming into line with Gallwitz, 
crossed the Narew near Ostrolenka. On the 26th and two 
following days the Russians made a series of determined 
counter-attacks against the whole line of German troops on 
the left bank of the Narew, delaying their advance and 
inflicting heavy losses. 

In these last days of July some reassurance came to those- 
who for weeks had lost all hope of saving Warsaw. The 
resistance shown by the Russian troops in the south and 
north alike started fresh courage, but suddenly there came 
a dramatic end to these hopes and in a way least expected. 
The Vistula had seemed to offer sufficient protection against 
the west but, with the exception of districts around the 
bridgeheads of Warsaw and Ivangorod, it was held by com- 
paratively weak forces. Permanent bridges spanned the 
river between those two towns, the river being between 600 
and 1,200 yards wide and from 10 feet to 15 feet deep, its 
banks fairly high, the eastern higher than the western. The 
valley was only a few miles wide. Wooded hills ap- 
proached in many places close to the river. Both the roads 
and the railway which connected Warsaw and Ivangorod 
avoided the immediate neighborhood of the river. Few 
villages lay on the eastern bank for the fifty miles which 
between Warsaw and Ivangorod formed the western front 
of the Russian salient in Poland. 

The unforeseen event occurred in the success of the Ger- 
mans in crossing the Vistula about twenty miles north of 
Ivangorod, the German commander having decided to force 
the Vistula by crossing in the neighborhood of the mouth 
of the Radomka. By the evening of July 28 his prepara- 
tions were completed, everything having been arranged 
secretly for a night attack and arranged down to the 
smallest detail. Next day troops were ordered to reach the 



shore of the Vistula at 1.30 A.M. at all points, in order to 
begin a crossing at once. The Vistula in this region has 
an average breadth of 1,000 meters. What were the posi- 
tions of the Russians behind the river, in what strength 
they stood, and how their forces were divided, were facts 
unknown to the Germans. As it was necessary for them to 
strike in the dark, one could appreciate the tension of the 
situation to the Germans. 

At 1.30 A.M. German troops everywhere broke out from 
their last lines of cover on shore. Heavy pontoons were 
quickly brought forward, the water entered, and they pushed 
off, with everything quiet, when suddenly heavy artillery- 


fire set in, the attention of Russians on the other shore hav- 
ing been attracted to the boats. German artillery standing 
in readiness, took up the fire, giving effective protection to 
the German infantry crossing. The crossing having been 
effected, battalion following battalion, the dawn came and 
then the German artillery showed themselves the decisive 
factor in the fight; they broke the last resistance of the 
surprized Russians. But heavy' fighting still lay before the 
Germans. Protecting troops close to the shore had thus far 
been the only ones in force; it still was necessary to defeat 
the Russian reserves who lay further to the rear. After 
battles lasting four days, possession of the bridgehead was 



fully assured, the Russians thrown back from position to 
position, and their power of attack broken. 

In the meantime, Austro-Hungarian troops standing under 
command of General von Koevess had won a successful battle 
before Ivangorod. By July 23 the Russians had been driven 
back on Ivangorod, and on the 24th Koevess was ordered 
to invest and capture the place, while the Germans advanced 
on the north wing and forced the passage of the Vistula. 
The special strength of Ivangorod consisted in the marshy 
land which protected it on the west and the advanced posi- 
tions which the Russians had taken up in other parts. The 
attack was ordered to begin on August 1. Artillery-fire 
prepared the way. Regiments from Transylvania made a 
bayonet-attack, and, in spite of a counter-attack, succeeded 
in holding their ground. Then came the hardest part of 
the task. The advance had to be carried through the woods 
to the south where heavy losses were inflicted by machine- 
gun fire. On the night of August 2 the Russians were 
driven from points south of the railway line back of the 
Vistula. Meanwhile, preparations for moving up heavy 
siege-artillery proceeded. On the 3d Koevess ordered the 
second advanced position and the inner belt taken with one 
effort. The troops pushed on and pierced the line. The 
western part of Ivangorod was taken, and before the heavy 
siege-artillery could be brought up the Vistula was reached. 

As early as July 28, when the Kaiser was holding a coun- 
cil of war to the west of Warsaw, Russian trains bound for 
Moscow became crowded with Russian refugees. The Grand 
Duke Nicholas fully recognized the wisdom of allowing War- 
saw to be occupied by the Germans in order to avoid sub- 
jecting it to the ravages of a siege. Hundreds of thousands 
ofc Russian soldiers passed through Warsaw, sometimes to 
the music of a military band, but more often not, the men 
well fed, well clad, and the horses in first-rate condition. 
Peasantry, fleeing before the Germans, appeared in pic- 
turesque Polish costumes, giving touches of brightness to 
scenes which previously had lacked them, charitable people 
providing public kitchens to supply them with food. In a 
few days some 350,000 citizens, or more than one-third the 
entire population, including nearly half of Warsaw's Jewish 



inhabitants, departed eastward, in ceaseless procession, day 
and night, moving toward the frontier. Tired, dust- 
whitened, peasant families, with cattle and portable goods, 
thronged all roads leading away .from "Warsaw. Tens of 
thousands of homes were thus instantly broken up. Men 
who had believed themselves worth some hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars in June found themselves in July nearly 

Factories were feverishly stript of machinery, owners hav- 
ing been granted free transport eastward for what they 
could save. Day and night could be heard the roar of 
dynamited plants, embedded in concrete and too cumbersome 
to be dismantled and transported. Every fragment of 
metal was taken away. Newspaper linotype-machines among 
others were ripped up from floors and carted to Moscow and 
other towns. Hardly a ton of copper fittings was left in 
Warsaw. All copper stocks in pipe-factories and plumbing- 
shops ; all the copper used in household ware ; all copper of 
every kind wherever found, was removed and. so were stocks 
of hardware dealers, hospital supplies, and officers' kits. 

Warsaw knew no stoppage of activities during that last 
week-end. Endless columns of laden carts and lorries con- 
verged on bridges that crossed the Vistula. Millions of 
rubles in paper-money and the irreplaceable records of law 
courts were piled on wagons, guarded by a handful of sol- 
diers. Day and night gangs of soldiers worked briskly 
stripping mile after mile of copper wire from telegraph- 
poles. Church doors were flung open and their interiors 
crowded with weeping and praying Poles and Russians. 
Among them passed ministering priests in gorgeous robes. 
Aloft in church-towers huge bronze bells were unslung arid 
then carted away to prevent them from being used as ma- 
matrial for Krupp cannon. All church-bells, archives, and 
treasure; all gem-studded altar pieces; all screens, vest- 
ments, and icons went across the Vistula and were sent to 
Moscow. The vault of the Church of the Holy Cross in 
Kravoski Street was opened and the Sacred Heart preserved 
there removed. The telephone exchange was dismantled. 
Dynamos supplying power to street-cars were removed, and 
so were all wheels and detachable fittings of cars. Crops 



around Warsaw were destroyed and villages razed to the 
ground. Two thousand hackney-carriages were driven by 
their owners across Russia to Moscow, nearly a thousand 
miles distant. 

During the first week of August, the Russian retirement 
became more pronounced. In Courland, Below, moving on 
a front of seventy miles, occupied Kupischki, on the 


Ponievitz-Dwinsk railway. His cavalry reached the neigh- 
borhood . of Schonberg to the north of the Aa and Swenta 
rivers from Mitau down to Wilkomir. About this time re- 
inforcements arrived and the Russian commander, taking 
the offensive, turned on Below, reoccupied Kupischki, and 
threw the Germans back across the Aa and Swenta. Mean- 
while, Gallwitz and Scholtz, advancing from the Narew, and 
continually pushing back the Russian rear-guards, made 



further defense of the Warsaw salient impracticable, and 
on August 3 the Russian army, covering the approaches 
through the town to Praga, left Prince Leopold of Bavaria 
free to enter Warsaw on the morning of the 4th. The 
evacuation had for some time been practically completed. 

The final retreat of the Russians was a masterpiece in 
strategy. It began during the night of August 3-4 and at 
the northern end of the Blonie lines, the Russians crossing 
the Vistula on pontoons. By August 4, at noon, there was 
probably not over one corps left on the west side of the 
Vistula. Probably the last division left about midnight. 
At 3 A.M. on August 5 the bridges were blown up. At 6 
A.M. the Germans arrived. They had not even been in 
touch with the Russian rear-guard. There was therefore 
no last battle before Warsaw. 

The capture of Warsaw became for the German soldier 
another station on his long pilgrimage eastward. He now 
had before him the prospect of exchanging quarters on the 
Bzura, which he had occupied in the preceding winter, for 
some still more desolate place in the plains, forests or 
marshes of Russia proper. The capture was regarded in 
England more as an incident than as an event, and from 
a military point of view was not considered important in 
a campaign which had for its object, not the occupation of 
territory, but the destruction of the Russian armies. Hin- 
denburg's plan was to envelop Warsaw by a rapid move- 
ment of Gallwitz from the Narew and of Mackensen from 
Galicia. If these two generals could have met together on 
the Bielostock-Brest-Litovsk line, while Prince Leopold was 
playing with the Russian army to the west of the city, the 
Grand Duke would have been locked up in Warsaw as 
Marshal Bazaine was locked up in Metz. Here was Moltke's 
strategy over again. If it had succeeded, it would have 
meant the doom of the Russian army. Its failure was due to 
the Russian infantry, who fought with their backs to the 
wall with magnificent courage. They had little help from 
artillery, for their guns were overwhelmingly outnumbered, 
as well as outclassed, while their ammunition supply began 
to fail just when the pressure of Hindenburg's attacks be- 
came most pronounced. In spite of these adverse circum- 



stances, the Grand Duke's rear-guards, fighting with stub- 
born tenacity, so delayed Gallwitz on the north and Macken- 
sen on the south as to give time for the orderly withdrawal 
of the army out of the threatened salient, and for the 
evacuation of Warsaw. Admirably conceived and precisely 
executed tho it was, Hindenburg's plan failed in the main 
purpose for which it had been undertaken. Altho Warsaw 
itself was taken, the Russian army was not. 

For the moment Germany had cleared her frontiers and 
seemed free to turn many army corps westward again to 
deal with new French forces and the advance guard of 


Kitchener's new men in the spring campaign. She had 
won a triumph which deserved admiration as a military 
achievement. But she had settled nothing and a new 
Russian force was already beginning to gather. As a 
single performance, the German victory passed all qualifica- 
tion; but what fatally lessened its appeal to the imagination 
of the world was the fact that after it there came no 
promise of peace, of truce, or even of parley. For this 
the Germans held Great Britain's sea power responsible. 
The German gain was the fact that the winning of Galicia 
had bound Austria-Hungary closer than ever to the German 

v. vn 11 153 


Empire and so had banished all hope among the Allies of 
enticing Vienna or Budapest into a separate peace. Fully 
as important was the culminating influence of these events on 
the Balkan countries which were believed then to be about 
to enter the war. The diplomatic work essential to main- 
taining neutrality in Roumania, Bulgaria, and Greece had 
been causing many sleepless nights at the German Foreign 
Office. If Germany had dispersed, or captured, the bulk 
of the Russian army, her victory would have surpassed any- 
thing in modern history, and would have constituted the 
gravest defeat the Allied cause had known. 

Looking back in August at the course of events since 
April, it was easy to discover Russia's mistakes. She had 
been holding an impossibly long line, and her Carpathian 
advance had made it daily longer and more vulnerable. 
The Russian front was not the same continuous series of 
entrenchments as existed in the West. There were gaps 
in it, such as that between the Niemen and the Narew. In 
many parts it was terribly thin. The Russian army suffered 
from lack of mobility. Troops could not be brought up 
quickly to a threatened point. Each regiment was in effect 
left alone to repel any attack that might be made on it. The 
Germans in an advance, by means of admirable railways, 
could weaken remote parts along the front to strengthen the 
operative part, but the same .tactics were not open to the 
Russians. Moreover, the Russians lost the advantage of in- 
ternal lines, while the Germans could operate against a convex 
front and so had far greater powers of local concentration. 

Russia's total of heavy guns was far lower than Germany's. 
Her field-artillery, excellent in pattern and efficient in gun- 
nery, was poorly supplied with shells and at various times, 
in the course of the retreat, munitions gave out altogether, 
and no attempt was made to cope with the fire of the Ger- 
mans. The Russians were terribly short also of machine- 
guns, having at most perhaps one to the Germans' four. 
Many new recruits took their places in the firing-line with- 
out rifles. Men often had to wait in trenches under heavy 
fire till they could get arms from wounded comrades. One 
entire Siberian division had to face shrapnel attack with- 
out a single rifle among them. Field-artillery in one divi- 


sion was limited to two shells a day. When Irmanov's 
Caucasians fought at Jaslo they were compelled to refrain 
from a counter-attack because they had only twenty rounds 
of rifle ammunition per man. In the words of a Russian pri- 
vate: "We had only one weapon, the living breast of the 
soldier." That this force, which had lost incredibly, and 
was short of every munition of war, was able to hold the 
Germans firm, and after the first week to fall back at its 
own pace, with stubborn rear-guard actions and many suc- 
cessful counter-advances, astonished neutrals. There were 
no sweeping losses. The few Russian guns taken testified 
not only to the scarcity of arms, but to the orderliness of 


This great building, erected in 18.33, contains, besides a large theater in 
which grand opera is presented, a smaller theater for the production 

of comedies 

the retreat. Observers .bore witness to the absence of panic 
or signs of excitement. "If we only had guns," said Rus- 
sian soldiers, "we should be marching the other way. As it 
is, we shall soon return." 

From the moment when they began, their attack on the 
Dimajec line in early May, until their entrance into War- 
saw, almost exactly three months later, the campaign of the 
Germans represented one continuous attack. Every detail 
seemed to have been arranged, and once the movement 
started, men and munitions were fed into the maw of war 



without intermission until their objective Warsaw was 
attained. The determination and bravery of the German 
soldiers in those three months of ghastly sacrifice never 
faltered. But the Germans probably had five shells to the 
Russians' one. Except for this great superiority, they would 
not have pushed back either the line of the Narew or the 
Cholm-Lubliu. The situation was that Russia could not 
convert her resources into ammunition and Germany could. 
To this fact Germany probably owed her capture of Warsaw. 
Russia stayed until the last minute and the last shell, and 
then extricated herself from an extremely dangerous posi- 

As to responsibility for the defeat, the Russian nation 
soon passed judgment when radical changes were made in the 
administration. The aim in these changes was a change of 
system. At a meeting of the Duma in August, during the 
time of Russia's worst reverses, sentiment promised the 
mobilization of the entire national strength. Hardly had the 
Duma come together when it passed an order affirming an 
unshakable resolution to ''continue the struggle with our 
faithful Allies until final success is attained and not to con- 
clude peace before victory is complete." 5 

2 Principal Sources: The Fortnightly Review (London), The Tribune (New 
York), The Daily yews (Chicago), The Vossische Zeitung, The Berliner Mor- 
ganpoxt, German High Command report printed in The Frankfurter Zeitung, 
Associated Press dispatches, The Economist (London) ; The Evening Post, 
The Journal of Commerce, New York ; The Times, The Morning Post, London ; 
United Press dispatches, The Berliner Tageblatt, The London Times' "History 
of the War,'' "Nelson's History of the War" by John Buchan. 







August 6, 1915 September 18, 1915 

HINDENBURG now transferred his movements from 
the Vistula to the Bug, apparently in the hope of 
setting another trap at Brest-Litovsk, which lies on the 
Bug about 150 miles east of Warsaw. Leaving Below in 
Courland, he increased the area of his enveloping movement 
by first capturing Kovno east of Warsaw, and the key to the 
Russian line of defense on the Niemen. On August 6 
Eichhorn, who had been facing the Niemen for six months, 
and had now been reinforced with siege guns and material, 
arrived before the western defenses of the fortress and 
began an attack. Bold advances made by infantry were 
first employed to secure observation stations for artillery. 
Then followed the installation of guns, which was a very 1 
difficult matter in a country of pathless forests. Fire was 
opened with artillery, and, meanwhile, infantry and pion- 
eers worked their way forward in hotly contested battles 
lasting night and day. Not less than eight advanced works 
were taken by August 15, each a fortress in itself and con- 
structed after months of work. Exceedingly strong counter- 
attacks by the Russians against the front and south flank of 
the attacking troops were repeatedly repelled, with heavy 

On the 16th the attack was carried close to the line of 
permanent fortifications. By artillery-fire, raised to the 
highest degree of intensity, and directed with help from 
observation-balloons and aeroplanes, the defenders of forts, 
connecting lines and intermediate batteries, had been so 
badly shaken that a forward assault could be initiated. 
Infantry first broke through and then, rolling up the front, 



stormed the entire line in both directions between the Jezia 
and the Niemen. Artillery, which was quickly brought up, 
now undertook the reduction of the main defenses of the 
west front. After their fall, on the 17th, the artillery at- 
tacked the Russian forces retreating on the east bank. Un- 
der protection from artillery brought close to the Niemeii, 
the river was crossed under hostile fire, at first by several 
small detachments and then by stronger forces. Soon the 
Germans succeeded in getting two brigades across to replace 
those destroyed by the Russians. In the course of the 17th, 
the forts on the north front fell, then those on the eastern, 
and finally those on the entire southern front. In addition 
to more than 20,000 prisoners, the Germans said they had 
captured "an incalculable amount of booty," more than 
600 guns, including a large number of the heaviest caliber 
and of modern construction, great masses of ammunition, 
numberless machine-guns, search-lights, war material of all 
sorts, automobiles, tires, and provisions "running into mil- 
lions in value." 

Kovno was a first-class fortress, commanding the railway 
from East Prussia to Vilna, and one of three fortresses 
which barred the passage of the Niemen, the others being 
, Grodno on the south and Olita in the center. For the time 
being, the Germans had confined their attention to the 
northern fortress. The forts encircling Kovno were eleven 
in number and situated at a distance of two or three miles 
from the center of the town itself. Three guarded it on the 
east, one covered the Vilna bridge, and seven protected the 
southern approaches. Apart from its military importance, 
Kovno was a large town with a considerable entrepot trade 
in timber, grain, and other commodities passing from and to 
Prussia. It had a population in 1913 of nearly 92,810 
people, of whom about one-half were Jews. It was founded 
in the eleventh century, and possest some fifteenth-century 

The fall of Kovno was a greater military disaster than 
Warsaw. Not only had the line of the Niemen been turned, 
but the road to Vilna was opened. Another German army 
could therefore be let loose to act against Russian communi- 
cations with Petrograd and Moscow. But Eichhorn's army 



had for its objective Vilna, which, when occupied, could be 
used as a fresh starting-off point for an advance to Minsk, 
for the purpose of getting behind the Russian Army cov- 
ering Brest-Litovsk in the south, and ' so cutting off its 
retreat to the Dnieper. The Field-marshal had paid dearly 
for the capture of Kovno, but in a military sense the prize 
was worth its cost. By taking Kovno he had seriously com- 
promised the Russian second line, the so-called Niemen-Bug 
line, which extended from Kovno on the Niemen to Brest- 
Litovsk and the Pinsk Marshes east of Kovel. The Kovno 


army, now in close cooperation with the Germany army 
operating south of Riga, was farther east than the main 
mass of the Russians, who were still in retreat from Warsaw. 
The two armies were in a position to strike south and east, 
cutting the Petrograd-Bielostok railroad at Vilna and the 
Moscow-Brest railway at Minsk. But the distances were 
great, the country difficult and the possibilities for Russian 
resistance unmistakable and serious. 

The natural expectation was that the Russians would retire 
from the Brest-Litovsk position and that the German ad- 
vance would then cut still deeper into Russian territory. 


It seemed probable that the German High Command now 
realized the extent to which their attempt to envelop the 
main Russian mass had failed. While, with Kovno, the 
whole system of Russia's permanent defenses on her Western 
frontier had fallen, the meaning of events in the east seemed 
rather to be that the Russians had been able to make an- 
other successful retreat, had got themselves clear of the en- 
veloping net of Hindenburg and Mackensen and were retir- 
ing in good order on Brest-Litovsk, losing few prisoners 
and next to no equipment. 

Back of the Russian retreat from Kovno were said to be 
nearly 3,000.000 refugees. The reason was that for a while 
the retreat had been so rapid that the fleeing civilians could 
not keep up with it. Kovno was evacuated suddenly and in a 
panic, houses and stores being left in a dilapidated condition, 
so that when their owners and families returned afterward 
they could have been seen standing about broken-hearted 
in their empty, dirty shells of buildings. Barefooted women 
hovered about at the station, or lay down in straw, fright- 
ened and shivering with cold, their black or vari-colored 
shawls drawn tightly about them. Here some woman with 
barely enough clothes to cover her body might have been 
seen carrying a sewing-machine, or there, a boy and his 
father carrying a sack that contained their only possessions, 
including a pet kitten. Left behind were pitiful old women 
and men who could not undergo the hardships of miles 
and miles of traveling afoot, and so had stayed behind dur- 
ing the bombardment when shells were flying thick as black- 
birds down streets and over roofs. No cellars or bomb- 
proof trenches were there in which to hide. Afterward 
those forlorn people could be seen wandering about the city, 
barefooted and leaning on old hand-made canes, or on Sun- 
days might be seen in churches, walking up to kiss the feet 
of statues of Christ, or kneeling and sitting in deserted con- 
fessionals. Along cobbled streets rumbled peasant-wagons, 
with perhaps a mother and her family lying in the straw 
and a giant father walking alongside. Further back would 
appear a family group driving a cow. Everywhere were Ger- 
man soldiers and groups of Russian prisoners marching from 
one part of the town to another. Large auto-trucks, in 



constant communication with the front, meanwhile, hurried 
through the city. Big touring-cars bearing officers were 
seen everywhere. 

Before the end of August Brest-Litovsk fell. Its fate had 
been settled with the capture of Kovno the week before, 
and its evacuation was inevitable. Since the decision to 
leave Warsaw, the Russians had embarked upon a policy of 
retreat to which they had rigidly adhered. If the purpose 
of the Germans had been solely to acquire territory, the 


taking of Brest would have been the culminating circum- 
stance in a campaign successful beyond all parallel in the 
history of this war. But it was the Russian Army, not a 
mere military position, that was the true object of Austro- 
German strategy and this object had not been reached. 

At Novogeorgievsk, which fell on August 19, the Germans 
claimed to have taken 85,000 prisoners and at Kovno 20,000 
each estimate an apparent exaggeration. But the Russian 
garrison at Novogeorgievsk was sacrificed, in order to delay 
German transports on the Vistula, just as the French in 
September, 1914, sacrificed 40,000 troops at Maubeuge in 



order to control the Liege-Paris trunk railroad. The siege 
of Novogeorgievsk was entrusted to Beseler, who had fame 
in Germany as the conqueror of Antwerp in October, 1914. 
The Staff had assumed that a lengthy defense would ensue 
with a consequent hold-up of German communications, but 
the great cannon which had battered down Liege in a week, 
and Xamur in less time, carried Novogeorgievsk, altho it 
took them something under three weeks. Twenty thousand 
of the garrison were captured, and over 700 guns, most of 
which had been rendered useless. When the Germans en- 
tered Novogeorgievsk, the Russian armies were already 
some 80 miles away. The Kaiser held a review, described as 
follows in a German newspaper in that comic German 
literary form which had been exposed ta Entente smiles 
so often in this war: 

"With gigantic, mighty strides he advanced upon the parade 
ground, with a thick stick in his hand. The Kaiser comes close in 
front of me. He looks at me sharply. I know the look. To-day 
there is something immensely joyous, almost humorous, in the keen 
eyes. Oh, you stupid Quadruple Ententists ! If you only had an 
idea. His Majesty went with the same powerful strides from bat- 
talion to battalion. Ii> his customary short, sharp tones he thanked 
his troops in the name of all Germany, and distributed Iron Crosses." 

The Russian loss -of 200,000 in prisoners in rear-gttord ac- 
tions in a period of three weeks, was not regarded by the 
Allies as an unduly heavy loss. It rather indicated how 
deliberate and successful had been the Russian retreat, 
which, as a military operation, equaled in success the Ger- 
man offensive. Brest-Litovsk, which was to become the 
scene of the famous, or infamous, German treaty of 1917 
with the Bolsheviki, lay at the junction of navigable rivers, 
the Bug and Mukhovets. At the point of confluence stands 
the city fortress on the right bank of the Bug, sharply out- 
lined where the river turns from north to northeast. Rail- 
ways from Odessa, Kiel, Moscow, Warsaw, Vilna, and East 
Prussia intersect at this point. Here also is an inland 
waterway connecting the Baltic with the Black Sea* the 
course of which connects with a canal beyond Brest, between 
the upper Mukhovets River and the Pripet. The city is 



thus served by a well-nigh perfect system of communica- 
tions, reaching 1 north, east and south, and points toward the 
northwest, west and southwest. Brest had a population of 
about 63,579 in 1913, more than half of whom were Jewish. 
While the armies of Prince Leopold and Mackensen were 
converging on Brest-Litovsk, the Germans made an attempt 
to capture Riga from the sea. After clearing a channel 
through the mine-fields, a fleet, chiefly light cruisers and 
gunboats, entered the Gulf of Riga on August 19. After 
four days, the German fleet was beaten by the Russian 


Admiral, who turned on the enemy's ships after, he had 
drawn them into the Gulf, and compelled them to retreat to 
the Baltic with the loss of two cruisers and eight torpedo 
boats. The Russians lost only the gunboat Sivoutch, which 
was sunk in Mohn Sound by a German cruiser. The German 
fleet endeavored to seize control of the Gulf. The success 
of such an endeavor would have had an important bearing 
on the military situation in that region, since it might have 
made possible the transport by sea of reinforcements to the 
invading army of Below, and so perhaps turned the Russian 



flank. Abandonment of the enterprise, coming as it did 
during the great Allied depression due to the German mili- 
tary advances in the Eastern theater of war, had a reassur- 
ing effect. Exaggerated stories became current. One of 
these was that four barges full of troops which had at- 
tempted to land at Pernau had been annihilated. The fact 
was that these vessels were empty steamers sunk by the 
Germans in order to block navigation; so at least the 
Germans said. 

When on August 25 Brest-Litovsk fell, it had held out 
long enough to enable E warts to get away with guns and 
supplies. His armies were soon well into the tangle of the 
Pripet Marshes, with Mackensen following from the south, 
and Prince Leopold's group fighting their way on the north 
through the great forest of Bieloviesk, which had been the 
last sanctuary of the aurochs or ancient European bison. 
On August 28 Below began a great attack on the line of the 
Dwina. On that river, from Riga upward, there was no 
crossing till the little town of Friedrichstadt was reached, 
some fifty miles from the coast. Below were great stretches 
of marshy forest which lined the left bank of the stream. 
On one side was the main Riga-Vilna railway. At Fried- 
richstadt, on the left bank, a road reached the river. Five 
miles south was a single-line railway. So long as the Rus- 
sians held Friedrichstadt they controlled the only practica- 
ble crossing of the Dwina between Riga and Jacobstadt, and 
protected communications of the port with Dvinsk and 
Vilna. When Below moved on Friedrichstadt he aimed, not 
at isolating Riga, for there was still the northern line to 
Petrograd, but at cutting it off from Russian armies to the 
south. On the Dwina there was a desperate struggle for the 
Friedrichstadt crossing. Below issued a special order to his 
troops : 

"After the brilliant campaign on the Russian front, and the occu- 
pation of many cities and fortresses in Poland and Lithuania, you 
must make one more effort to force the Dwina and seize Riga. There 
you will rest during the autumn and winter, in order to march on 
Petrograd in the spring." 

On the night of September 2 the Russians, who held the 
left bank of the river below Friedrichstadt at Linden, made 



a gallant assault on Below 's flank. But on the morning of 
the 3d the Germans attacked the position at the bridgehead 
with incendiary shells, and forced the Russians back to the 
east side from Linden to Friedrichstadt. Below had cleared 
the left bank for a space of ten miles, but he had not won 
the bridgehead. 

The German eastern campaign had now entered its third 
period. The first had come in Galicia, when the sudden 
drive by Mackensen threatened the envelopment of the Rus- 
sians in the Carpathians. The second was about Warsaw, 
when another enveloping effort was made. Now had come 
the third, which was not to be an enveloping operation, but 
an attempt to crush in detail beaten trooops no longer pro- 
tected by permanent defenses and withdrawing through dif- 
ficult territory. Twice thwarted in a primary purpose, Ger- 
many still had a third. Success could come only with the 
destruction of the enemy's main armies. That would prob- 
ably have opened the road to Petrograd and Moscow, and 
to a separate peace. But, with the Russian army intact, 
Germany's chance for a real decision in the east promised to 
disappear, and with it all chance of an early peace. Except 
for isolated positions on the Niemen and west of that river, 
as at Grodno, all the nine provinces of Poland were now in 
the hands of the Germans. In addition, the greater part of 
Courland and Kovno had been overrun, and Austro-German 
armies were pressing forward into Volhynia and Grodno. 
The immediate aim of the Germans in the invasion of Cour- 
land was to occupy the Dubissa line, and to seize Libau, 
the Russian port from which, before the war. a regular line 
of passenger-ships ran to New York. Only along a narrow slip 
of Galicia east of the Zlota Lipa river, did any Russian 
army now stand on German or Austrian soil. In just four 
months Russian armies had been driven from the crest of 
the Carpathians, from Poland, and from the East-Prussian 
frontier, in a campaign which, for sweep of operations, the 
armies engaged and the sustained energy of the offensive, 
had no parallel. 

In order to ensure the evacuation of Grodno, which by 
September 3 was blown up, strenuous fighting had been 
necessary. After the place was taken, the Russians retired 



from all posts west of the Niemen. A German threat to cut 
the railway was one of the last events that led to the evac- 
uation of Grodno. Grodno was a stronghold on the main 
railway from the west to Petrograd, and one of the most 
powerful links guarding the line of the Muscovite frontier. 
It lay on the line of advance from the lake region in East 
Prussia, and was about fifty miles from the German border. 
540 miles southwest of Vilna, and 160 miles northwest of 
AVarsaw. About 110 miles south of Grodno was Brest- 

Before Vilna fell on September 18, the battle of Melsgowla 
was, fought, one of the most desperate encounters of the war 
in the East, Ewerts and Eichhorn having command of their 
respective forces. The Russians had half a million men 
distributed in the Vilna sector, among whom were two di- 
visions of the Russian Imperial Guards, sent by General 
Ruszky from Petrograd to stiffen the front. These divi- 
sions bore the brunt of the fighting in the first line. It was 
only when they were broken up that Ewerts ordered a retire- 
ment. The retreat from Vilna ranked as one of the most 
brilliant exploits of the Russian armies. The Germans had 
not only encircled most of the city, but, by throwing off 
masses of cavalry, followed by light infantry, had pierced 
and swept round from the far north into the rear of the 
Russian communications at Molodetchna and Lebedevo. The 
withdrawal of the Russians from Vilna began not a moment 
too soon. Further delay would have enabled the Germans 
to drive a wedge into their rear. Part of Hindenburg's 
efforts were directed toward compelling the Vilna group 
either to fight till surrounded or to retreat in a southerly 
direction. The latter course would greatly have confused 
the withdrawal of Ewerts' other armies north of the Shara. 
In order to avoid such confusion, the Vilna group moved 
eastward, but in .taking this course it had to fight to over- 
throw the enemy's enveloping columns. Thus it came about 
that the right wing of the Vilna group had to face the Ger- 
mans coming from the east. The engagements at the cross- 
ings of the river partook of the strange character of men 
turning their backs on Vilna, in order to clear the line of 
retreat before them. 


Hamilton Fyfe, 3 a war correspondent, described the retreat 
from Vilna as a tragedy which none could understand who 
had not seen it. The roads were filled so full of people, 
horses and wagons, that, from a balloon, "you could not 
have seen any road." Had one wished to get along more 
quickly than the fighters who filled the road, he would have 
found it impossible to do so unless he had driven into the 
throng and forced a way through as one does on a country 
road filled with cattle. On the surface of roads moved 
solid masses of men, horses, wagons, light carts, guns, cais- 


sons, and motor-vehicles. Adding to the confusion were 
throngs of frightened and miserable refugees, who carried 
their most treasured possessions in their arms, wheeled them 
in perambulators, or stowed them in farm-carts. One had 
a clock, another a bird-cage, another a picture, and many 
clung to sewing-machines. Others had mattresses and 
sheets, but had left behind such clothing as they owned. All 
roads running in the direction which the retreat had to take 
were thus turned into living streams of men, women, and chil- 

3 Petrograd correspondent of The Daily Mail (London). 



drew, flowing carelessly and chattering as they went by, but 
with furrowed brows and grim eyes. 

The lot of troops in the main army was easy compared 
with the perils that came to the rear-guards. Upon them 
was laid the duty of securing ultimate safety. A rear- 
guard could continually fight a losing battle. At best, it 
hoped only to delay the enemy, to thin his ranks, to throw 
his advance into confusion. Its business was to hold the 
enemy back in order to give the main army time to get 
away. But it had always to keep in touch with the main 
army, and always to give way step by step, so as to be able 
to make good its own escape when its difficult and dangerous 
task was done. The rear-guard had another task: it had to 
leave a trail of destruction behind it. All stores and grain, 
whether garnered or standing, everything that could be car- 
ried away, all shelter even, had, if possible, to be demol- 
ished. In consequence, the track of the rear-guard was 
marked by devastated cornfields and haystacks, often burn- 
ing and sending skyward red ashes and smoke which only 
a few hours before had been provisions for man and beast. 
So, also, had railways to be torn up, bridges to be broken 
down, and roads made difficult for troops to march over, 
for wheels to run on. This war in the east produced a country- 
side silent, ruined and bare. 

On these rear-guards was laid the burden of saving the 
Russian army from defeat. What the Germans sought was 
a resounding* victory. They planned to strike a blow of which 
the noise should echo around the world, and which would 
bring Russia to her knees, and after Russia the Western 
Powers. Against the threat, Russia opposed a policy of 
retirement which was adopted as much for the sake of the 
Allies as for her own. Her generals, her army, and her 
people would have preferred a more desperate strategy, 
would rather have risked a bold throw, but by the other 
method Russia for five months detained the Germans in the 
East, and also prevented them from massing in tremendous 
force in France and Flanders. 

In retreating from Vilna the Russians were confined to a 
corridor, with the enemy on either side. But the corridor 
widened as they went back, and so the struggles of the 



Germans to throw themselves across the path of the Rus- 
sians became steadily more difficult. Never before, however, 
had the Germans been so near the fulfilment of their one 
ambition and desire the gaining of a great victory by an 
enveloping plan. Obsessed as they had been for more than 
forty years, by the elder Moltke's stroke at Sedan, they never 
once in this war had a success with plans that followed his. 
They did actually block one of the roads on which the Rus- 
sians were moving, at a place called Lebedeff, but fresh 
Russians were sent against them with the bayonet, and they 


were pitchforked out, leaving everything behind them. So 
escaped the Russian army frem this most nearly successful 
of all the German strategical designs, and it owed escape 
To rear-guards. Vilna was important because its capture 
and retention by the Germans threatened the Russian com- 
munications and crippled the second line of Russian defense, 
along the Bug, on the Brest-Litovsk line. 

The combined retreat from Vilna, Eastern Poland and 
Galicia has sometimes been considered the greatest opera- 
tion of its kind in the annals of war. Never before had 

v. vii 12 



numbers so immense been withdrawn from so extensive a 
front and for such great distance in the presence of an 
enemy so active and enterprising. The mere withdrawal 
of a million or more men spread over several hundred miles 
of front without confusion, or the interference of contigu- 
ous bodies of troops, would have been a high test of pro- 
ficiency, but the execution by Russia of this operation while 
in contact with a powerful enemy elated by an extraordinary 
success, involving as it did a continuous rear-guard action 
and the maintenance of an unbroken front, must have taxed 
to the utmost the coolness and resolution of the Commander- 
in-Chief and his Staff. The credit was due in full measure 
to the Russian troops, for, had their valor and determina- 
tion failed, the most perfect staff arrangements must have 
proved abortive. And, throughout the whole ordeal, the 
troops were short of rifles and ammunition, and exposed to 
the ravages of German artillery, with which their guns were 
powerless to cope. An Austrian officer who went through 
much of the fighting in July and August, called the great 
retreat a masterpiece of terrifying and systematic devasta- 
tion. The invaders in their progress found little more than 
black deserts. There was not a hu^in being in sight, nor 
a roof, nor a grain of corn. 

Of that long Russian retreat, Stephen Graham 4 collected 
interesting notes at the Kief railway-station in September. 
He sat long in an immense waiting-room thronged with peo- 
ple, all terribly hot, noisy, and deprest. Children were 
crying everywhere, babies at the breast, babies on all fours 
crawling among bundles, children of all ages terribly hun- 
gry and sleepy. Parents sat about, with careworn faces 
and strained eyes, curling themselves uncouthly about bun- 
dles of quilts and clothes. So it was elsewhere on that 
frontier. Thousands of fugitives were waiting at every sta- 
tion platform, barracks, or camping-ground. Twenty thou- 
sand fugitives might arrive every day, and none might 
stay, having been assigned to provinces in the depths of 
Russia, given free passage on trains, and hurriedly moved 
away, so as not to impede the oncoming rear ->f the Russian 
Army, and so as to relieve towns of tremendous destitution 

4 Correspondent of The Morning Post (London). 



and give the unfortunate wanderers some better chance of 
starting life afresh. From the banks of the Dnieper one 
saw a never-ending procession of slowly moving cart-tilts; 
carts wandering along endless roads and lanes," all a peas- 
ant's goods in one cart, his chairs, tables, ikons, with a cow 
tied by a rope following behind. The peasant, as often as 
not, could not tell where he was going. 

There were splendid faces among these people, broad, 
calm, potent faces. There were fine peasant families seen. 
Great was the pity that they had thus been rooted up. All had 
the same expression that of people who had given up every- 
thing and now stood on the threshold of a new life, with all 
the money thoy had collected in one purse, all their material 
possessions in bundles. There were unwontedly large family 
groups, with old aunts, grandmothers, and grandfathers, 
people who ordinarily never stirred abroad, now walking or 
sitting with dishevelled gray hair, their eyes unnaturally ex- 
cited and sad. They had barely slept for five days and 
were worn-out, heavy-eyed, silent. No one grumbled. Every- 
one asked for his neighbor's story, tried to calm children, 
gave food, said their prayers, and had farthings with which 
to buy candles to burn before station altars. Even Jews, 
secretive in their devotions, could be seen saying prayers. 

Kief had one central station which had become a vast 
terminus, with rows of platforms which ordinarily looked 
bare and uninhabitable, but in August and September, trains 
came into the station at Kief to find the platforms piled as 
high as the roof with all manner of packing-cases and 
bundles. As a train slowed down, astonished passengers on 
board heard a great vocal hubbub and saw throngs of multi- 
colored fugitives, with all the pitiful details of broken-up 
homes beds, cradles, chairs, tables, sofas, perambulators, 
packing-cases enclosing sewing-machines, red boxes innum- 
erable, and corded baskets. Across the -Dnieper safe from 
the Germans stood trains laden with all imaginable things- 
huge boilers, cisterns, tanks, cylinders, receivers, separators, 
broken, torn, twisted, and rusted. They could not be packed 
together, because so variously shaped. There were innum- 
erable samovars, kettles, agricultural machinery, wheels on 
trucks laden with nothing but wheels, church-bells on trucks 



laden with nothing but church-bells. Some of these bells 
were little tinkling bells, others huge bells that could sound 
loud over a great city. Many were ornamented with repre- 
sentations of Jesus, or of Mother and Child, but now 
scrawled over in white chalk, or colored paint, with the 
name of the church and town whence they had been taken. 

Besides the migration of people came the removal of fac- 
tories, universities, academies, schools, hospitals. All in the 
official phrase had been "evacuated," that is, removed from 
western Russia to the interior. The University of Warsaw 
went to Rostoff; Urieff University to Yaroslaff. Factories 
went in all directions, and, aided by the Government, started 
again. Even far-off Omsk advertised in the newspapers for 
refugees factories, and gladly afforded them facilities. With 
the peasants were long-haired village priests, looking woe- 
begone, harried, away from their parishes. Many found 
refuge in monasteries. The famous Petchrrkaya Monastery 
at Kief had several thousand guests, including "evacuated" 
monks, priests, and fugitive peasants. At this great settle- 
ment, which stands high above the Dnieper, all things 
seemed to have been turned into holiday activities. Scores 
of minstrels, fortune-tellers and beggars beguiled the crowds 
assembled there. Every altar and shrine gleamed with can- 
dles. The sacred music died down only at meal times, when 
multitudes sat down at tables in open courtyards. Stalls 
stood about laden with peasants' wares. In caves and along 
galleries, where lay long dead saints and priests in coffins, 
were seen constant crowds. Jews turned up at this and 
other monasteries seeking food or refuge and were not 

Stanley Washburn 5 believed the greatest tragedy of the 
war was not seen on battlefields. Tragedy and pathos in 
their highest form were seen over the main arteries of travel 
running from wesj: to east along which there flowed in 
September that endless stream of refugees fleeing before 
the German advance. He had observed refugees on the 
Western Front for a year, and had imagined he could not see 
them in greater numbers than during the early summer of 
1915, but after two days of travel westward on the Warsaw 

6 Correspondent of Tbe Times (London). 



road he felt as if he had never seen such maneuvers before. In 
two days he saw probably 100,000 men, women and children, 
fleeing from the Teutonic invasion. In one town alone 
whose population was normally 25,000, there were 83,000. 
They were everywhere, camped in streets with all their 
household belongings, and spread out along the countryside 
for miles in every direction. Their fortitude was something 
incredible. They were typical of two millions or so of 
refugees who were then on the roads in Russia, and had 
been on roads for weeks or months. Nearly all had left 
villages in ashes. Crouching at roadsides round little fires 
made of faggots were dozens of groups. Endless lines of 
carts were strung out with small tired horses dragging 
huge loads of household effects. In every wood were camps 
of hundreds and the roadside was already dotted with little 
white crosses which marked where unhappy and homeless 
exiles had at last found rest. 

The failure of the Russian defensive campaign had a 
noticeable effect on Russian national feeling. It shook that 
constitutionally stolid and unemotional country from one 
end to the other. The change, however, was not one of fatal 
discouragement or submission. It moved no one to talk of 
ultimate defeat, or of the possibility of Russia's undertaking 
separate peace negotiations. Russia's reaction took the form 
of an intense indignation at. Government officials who were 
responsible for the tragic shortage of ammunition. The full 
meaning of that shortage was known only to men at the 
front who, with empty gun-caissons, helplessly faced the 
concentrated artillery attacks of the Germans and watched 
the progress of German and Austrian trench-builders di- 
rectly under their own positions, without being able to stop 
them. These soldiers were determined and experienced fight- 
ers Russia's best troops who were crippled and finally 
demoralized by insufficient ammunition and a knowledge that 
this lack had caused their continued retreat from one posi- 
tion to another. 

The most rigidly censored press in the world failed to 
check the avalanche of criticism that followed. For once, 
expression of opinion in Russia was unhampered. No at- 
tempt was made to conceal the reproaches leveled against 



the methods of bureaucrats accused of having crippled Rus- 
sia's fighting strength and materially delayed the end of 
the war. It was not voiced alone by men of revolutionary 
inclinations, or opposition tendencies, nor uttered in hushed 
voices, or secret places, but clamorously current everywhere 
among men of all parties and classes. In these proteststs 
there was no disloyalty. A common view was that the evil 
was due to the residue of German influence which still 
existed in various departments of the Russian Government. 
The spirit of revolt against a German element in Russia 
had caused terrible riots in Moscow in the early months of 
1915, when as the order expelling all Germans from the city 
had not been enforced, the mob decided to take the matter 
into its own hands and expel them forcibly by destroying 
their homes and business. The allegation was made that 
Russian officials who superintended the purchase of war 
munitions had insisted on such large commissions on all 
contracts that the business of buying war materials had to 
wait until a purchasing commission had adjusted the com- 
missions satisfactorily. 

Whenever there was a chance to fight, the Russian soldiers 
fought with great obstinacy, but in the majority of cases 
the tempest of German artillery attack so far accomplished 
its aim that a charge was superfluous. Sometimes as many 
as sixteen German guns concentrated upon one Russian posi- 
tion, tore up every sign of the Russian entrenchments. When 
the Germans advanced on trenches there was no opposition. 



In many cases not a single Russian soldier was found alive. 
The Russians, before making a retreat, actually expended 
the last shell they had. Caissons laden with ammunition 
were rushed up at full speed to battery positions, then un- 
loaded and vainly spent. Two days before Warsaw was 
abandoned, ammunition had begun to arrive in large quanti- 
ties, but the Russian forces, threatened with being completely 
cut off by the encircling movement, could no longer gamble 
on the chance of an eleventh-hour arrival. 
Archangel, where most of Russia's ammunition arrived 



Libau was the port used by a Russian passenger Hne which, before the 
war, made regular trips to New York 

during the summer of 1915, had had at that time probably 
the greatest trade expansion ever reached by any seaport in 
so short a time. Previous to the war its trade was confined 
to exports of timber, fish, furs, and other local products of 
northern Russia, and a relatively small return movement of 
goods was required for local consumption. Now, however, 
Archangel was the only port of European Russia open for 
foreign business by direct sea communication, and, except 



Vladivostok, in eastern Siberia it had in that sense no rival 
in the Russian Empire. It thus suddenly became one of the 
most important ports in the world, rivaling even New York 
in the number and tonnage of ships arriving and departing. 
Between early May and the close of ice-free navigation, as 
many as 120 large steamers could at one time have been seen 
in this port, while an immense number of smaller boats and 
barges were engaged in river and canal navigation, many of 
them carrying 2,000 tons. These had been diverted largely 
from the lower Volga river traffic. In front of the main 
part of the city were about thirty-five large piers, as against 
only three or four a year before. Over 100 warehouses had 
been built within the year, and yet there was still an insuf- 
ficiency. Ships sometimes had to lie out in the stream for 
weeks before they could , unload. One American steamer 
took five weeks in discharging its cargo. 

The Russians had had no choice except to avoid a decisive 
engagement. Under the Grand Duke they had done all that 
from May to September. But the Grand Duke had failed 
to bring home a great triumph. News of his deposition and 
enforced departure for the Caucasus came as a great sur- 
prize to the Allies, from whom he had received constant 
praise for extricating his armies from the Teutonic grip. 
It was believed that, with a shortage of munitions and other 
difficulties, he had accomplished all that was humanely pos- 
sible in the circumstances. But in Russia the inclination 
was to give credit in this war only to the peasant soldier. 
The Cbmmander-in-chief's strategy had, from the beginning, 
been regarded with doubt by a large element of military 
opinion, including some of the Grand Duke's lieutenants. 
The collapse of his plans was cited as proof of their essen- 
tial unsoundness. The invasion of Galicia was considered 
to have been a perilous adventure. It became common rumor 
in Russia that Ruszky and Brusiloff, who had won the battle 
of Lemberg and overrun Galicia in 1914, had been acting 
against their own better judgment in obedience to the 
Grand Duke. Apologists for the Grand Duke argued that 
his views were justified by the necessities of the general 
situation on both fronts, for even in her defeat, Russia had 
served the Allied cause by saving France and Great Britain 



from defeat. The first Russian disaster in East Prussia, at 
Tannenberg, in this view, had compelled the withdrawal of 
German troops from the west, and so had decided the battle 
of the Marne. The Russian advance from Warsaw in Octo- 
ber, which ended in defeat at Lodz ; had served in the same 
way to relax German pressure against the British around 

Nothing in September, 1915, created so much comment as 
the action of the Czar in superseding the Grand Duke. 
Allied capitals feared this step might foreshadow a lessening 
of Russian effort, but the Czar formally pledged himself to 
continue the w T ar until Russian soil was free. It was ap- 
parent that dynastic reasons had compelled him to this 
course. The war had become a national war, both for racial 
and religious reasons, and was supported 'by the sentiment 
of the Russian people. Altho popular wi-th the army, the 
Grand Duke had been unpopular with the ruling classes. 
His strictness as a disciplinarian and his stern rule had 
roused opposition. Outside of Russia his military skill was 
everywhere conceded. He had conquered Galicia and the 
Bukowina. The world believed, his, ultimate defeat was due 
to corrupt and blundering officials charged with organizing 
the machinery for supplying her army. 

Stanley Washburn thought the Grand Duke Nicholas in one 
way the greatest man Russia had produced since Peter the 
Great, but not in the way a reader might think. Nicholas 
had not brought to the war enormous sagacity, or extra- 
ordinary military capacity, and probably was not responsi- 
ble for more than a fair portion of the strategies evolved in 
the campaign. What he did contribute was "a great per- 
sonality and an extraordinary character which at the begin- 
ning of the war was a far greater asset than mere brains." 
In the beginning, when bureaucracy was frantically trying 
to direct and control the elemental forces which the war let 
loose, the Grand Duke towered above every single figure 
in Europe. He was "a moral force replete with patriotism, 
sincerity, courage, and the iron will that swept from his 
path intrigue and petty quarrels." Men of more finesse 
might have been found to conduct the strategy and tactics 
of the campaign, but "there was no man in Russia who 



could have held that great cosmopolitan army together as a 
cohesive unit through the first chaotic year of the war save 
only the Grand Duke Nicholas." Leaving the western Rus- 
sian front in what was an official disgrace only, the Grand 
Duke, before that winter of 1915-1916 was over, had won, 
perhaps, the most spectacular victory of those first war 
years the taking of Erzerum and Trebizond. 6 

8 Principal Sources : United Press dispatch from Carl W. Ackerman, Ger- 
man High Command report printed in The Frankfurter Zelt-ung, The Morning 
Pott (London) ; The Times, The Tribune, New York ; The Daily Mall (Lon- 
don), The Literary Digest (New York) ; The Economist, The Fortnightly 
Review, The Quarterly Review, London; The Evening Post (New York), The 
Statist (London), ''Bulletins" of the National Geographic Society (New 
York), "Nelson's History of the War" by John Buchan ; The Times t The 
Manchester Guardian, London ; Stanley Washburn in The Review of Reviews 
(New York). 




September 21, 1915 December 1, 1915 

IT had been a commonplace with military historians that 
a successful invasion of Russia was impossible that is, 
in the sense that it could be attempted without disaster to 
the invader. Such views dated back at least to the fate of 
Charles XII of Sweden at Pultowa, to which Samuel John- 
son,, in his poem, "The Vanity of Human Wishes," made 
familiar references: 

"On what foundation stands the warrior's pride. 
How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide, 


He left a name at which the world grew pale, 
To point a moral or adorn a tale. ' ' 

and to that of Napoleon, in his enforced retreat from Mos- 
cow, when his army suffered as much from the rigors of a 
Russian winter as from the harassing onslaughts of Russian 
troops. It was in May, 1812, that Napoleon, collected 
400,000 men for this expedition from Eastern Germany. Hav- 
ing crossed the Niemen on June 23, the invasion of Russian 
Poland was readily accomplished. It was only when his 
army entered Russia that his difficulties began. Roads be- 
ing bad, his transports broke down, and excessive heat and 
a failure in supplies caused disease to spread. Before he 
reached Smolensk, which was burned on August 17th, he 
had lost 100,000 men. 

Battle was offered to Napoleon on the Borodino, where 
after terrible losses the road was opened to Moscow, which 
he entered on September 14, only to find it bursting into 
flames and deserted. For five weeks the French remained 
in Moscow, vainly waiting for the Czar Alexander to accept 
terms which he never accepted. It was not until mid- 
October that the order was finally given for the great re- 
treat, the horrors of which live in many familiar pages. 



The army which on December 14 crossed the Niemen and 
entered Prussia, was a ragged remnant of the mighty host 
that had set out for Russia seven months before. Some 
200,000 men had perished. Almost as many more had been 

Since 1812, however, a revolution had taken place in 
methods of warfare, and, above all, in means of communica- 
tion and transport, so that, if the Germans- in 1915 could 
have controlled the trunk line to Petrograd, held Courland, 
and commanded the Bay of Riga with their fleet, an attack 
on Petrograd might have been possible. The blow delivered 
at Moscow in 1812 was a blow at the political center of the 
Czars; but since then Petrograd had outdistanced Moscow 
in population and become the political capital, and hence 
any such blow would now have to be delivered at Petrograd. 
Some of the vital factors in the problem, however; had 
scarcely changed at all in the course of a century for ex- 
ample, the psychology of the Russian people, and the topo- 
graphy of Russia, both of which remained integral parts of 
the situation the Germans had to face. 

On August 5 the German troops had entered Warsaw, and 
on September 18 came the fall of Vilna. The intervening 
forty-four days practically embraced the great Austro-Ger- 
man offensive against Russia which, having virtually been 
begun in May with the battle of the Dunajec, remained 
throughout the summer of 1915 the main, if not the absorb- 
ing, concern of Germany. Four weeks after the fall of 
Warsaw, Austro-German armies were in possession of the 
entire Bug-Niemen line. After the fall of Brest their offen- 
sive showed no sign of slackening, but the skilful retreat 
of the Russian armies had deprived the Teutonic com- 
manders of that "crowning mercy," that they had hoped 
for and were seeking. Thus they had failed to achieve in 
the east a sought-for second Sedan which, having failed to 
get in 1914 in France, they had planned to get the next year 
in France on an infinitely larger scale, and again had failed. 
Had they succeeded in the East, the event would have set- 
tled the war in so far as Eastern Europe was concerned; 
but, since they could not capture the Russian army, they 
still hoped to reduce it to a state of practical impotence by 



forcing it to abandon the railway-line across the Pripet 
Marshes, the most impassable area of morasses in Europe. 
Had Russians been forced to abandon that railway, their 
armies would have been cut in two by swamps. All direct 
communication between troops operating in the north and 
those concentrated in the southern area would have ceased, 
because no other railway crosses from north to south over 
those 180 miles of dreary marshland. 

The occupation of Yilna was the high-water mark of the 


great German invasion of 1915. After its fall, the German 
offensive began to slacken. General Scholtz reached Lida on 
September 20, but Eichhorn found the roads to Minsk 
blocked by fresh troops, brought up from Polotzy and 
Bobruisk to relieve Russian corps defeated at Meisdagowla. 
Prince Leopold of Bavaria reached the railway junction of 
Baranovitche on the 28th and called a halt. Mackensen, 
after struggling for more than a fortnight with the Pripet 
Marshes, withdrew his troops from behind the Originski 


Canal, dug his right wing into defensive positions around 
Pinsk, and then handed over his command to Linsingen. If 
the Germans had had any intention of marching further 
eastward to the Dnieper, they gave it up when they discov- 
ered that the Russians had been reinforced with men and 
munitions and were resuming the offensive. As for Mackensen, 
he had other operations to look after in Siberia, that great 
drive which forced an entire population out of their homes. 

German armies under Eichhorn and Below strove to com- 
plete the success they had achieved in the neighborhood of 
Vilna, by an advance to the east. In Lithuania, a country 
of lakes and forests, operations on a large scale were lim- 
ited almost entirely, especially in autumn, to the lines of 
main roads and railways. In the region of Svientsiany, the 
Germans tried to follow up their original piercing move- 
ment by an advance towards Polotsk, with five cavalry divi- 
sions arid strong infantry support. The struggle lasted un- 
abated for about a fortnight, during which all their attacks 
were repulsed. For two more days the Germans made on- 
slaughts west of Vileika, where their offensive developed into 
a pitched battle. One attack followed after another, and 
fighting never slackened. On September 27, 10,000 heavy 
shells were fired on a sector held by a single Russian regi- 
ment. As the result of about a week's fighting between 
the Dubisca and the Niemen, the Russians extricated their 
advanced detachments, straightened out their front, cleared 
their lines of communication of enemy raiders, and by a 
counter-offensive prest back the Germans at several points. 
Further south the German enveloping movement made no 
progress at all, attempts to cross the Niemen east of 
Novogrodek ended in failure, and in the first days of Octo- 
ber the offensive in the northern center began to "fizzle 
out." Withdrawals to the Western front and for service 
against Serbia had depleted the German reserves, and soon 
autumn rains and bad roads hampered them more and more. 

The captu-re of Dvinsk would have been a decisive success 
for the entire German offensive east of Vilna. Once the 
Germans could be firmly established there and threatening 
an advance against Polotsk by roads and railway which ran 
along the right bank of the upper Dvina, the position of the 



Russians in the northern center opposite Svientsiany and 
Vilna would have been practically untenable. As a strategic 
center Dvinsk was equal in importance to Vilna, Brest- 
Litovsk, or Rovno, and second only perhaps to Warsaw. It 
formed the junction of two of the most important Russian 
railways, the Petrograd-Vilna-Warsaw and the Moscow-Smo- 
lensk-Riga lines. Moreover, a branch line connected Dvinsk. 
by way of Ponevesh and Shavle, with the Baltic port of 
Libau; and at Shavle it was met by a narrow-gage railway 
from Taurogen, which the Germans had constructed since the 
summer. Dvinsk was also the center of a network of roads. 
It was a mistake, however, to think of Dvinsk as a fortress ; 


in a strategic discussion one ought to speak rather of the 
Dvinsk district as a fortress. 

Less than a week after the fall of Vilna, and when any 
moment was expected to bring news of the fall of Dvinsk 
and the breaking of the line of the Dwina, there was ap- 
parent a stiffening of the Russian resistance and a slackening 
of the German advance. On their left wing, in the south, 
the Russians seemed actually to have brought the Teutonic 
advance to a standstill, and to be exercising pressure on the 
German's left in "the Riga-Dvinsk region where they had 
slowly given ground. In the center, the Teutonic advance 
had been most rapid. On October 31 the offensive against 
Riga entered on its last stage. The main interest during 



the first half of November centered around attempts to 
break through in the Shlock region, between Lakes Kanger 
and Babit. 

There come moments in many campaigns when the high 
tide of an advance appears to have been reached and the 
ebb begins. At the time it is imperceptible to combatants 
on both sides. By early December, looking to conditions on 
the Eastern Front, after four of the most tempestuous 
months that ever armies endured, there might have been 
detected a real clearing of the skies in Eastern Europe. 
Salients had gone, the line was nearly straight, the wings 
hard prest, but they could still hold out. Waves of confi- 
dence now surged through the Russian Command. The 
Emperor had put himself at the head of his soldiers' in place of 
the Grand Duke, who for more than a year had borne per- 
haps the heaviest burden carried by any single man in the 
war. That the Czar should follow the example of Peter and 
Alexander and take command of his armies, was to the 
whole Russian people a sign that the war was to be waged to 
the bitter but successful end. It was regarded as their 
answer to German efforts for a separate peace. 

Finding that he could make no progress in the center, 
Hindenburg now renewed his efforts to capture Dvinsk, but 
the topographical conditions were unfavorable for the attack, 
the town being approached from the south and east by an 
intricate maze of shallow lakelets and bogs, which precluded 
the maneuvering of artillery, and so enabled the Russians 
to keep the German heavy guns out of decisive range. 
Below, who was formally charged with the direction of the 
operations against Dvinsk, began by launching a direct at- 
tack along the road from Vilkomir, but finding the Russians 
strongly entrenched, changed the frontal attack for an en- 
veloping movement directed against both flanks of the Rus- 
sian positions covering Dvinsk. 

This movement failed when, early in October, Ruzsky 
brought up a large force of reserve troops from Petrograd 
well supplied with artillery, and began to develop a power- 
ful offensive all along the line from Vileika to the Drina, 
pushing back the Germans west of the Dreswiata Lake, 
while lower down the line he threatened their retreat from 



Koshiany. Then Below, reinforcing his left under Lauen- 
stein, directed an attack against Russian positions between 
Jacobstadt and Lennewaden ; but this attempt to get across 
the river met with no better success than others elsewhere. 
Not to be outdone, Below then shifted his attack further 
up the river, and a three days' battle of great activity took 
place at Garbunowka, two miles south of Illut, and some 
ten miles or more northwest of Dvinsk. In the course of 
this battle the village of Garbunowka repeatedly changed 


hands, but on October 11 was finally captured and held by 
the Russians. 

In these conditions the Russian retreat came to an end. 
Russian commanders were attacking the whole 700-mile front 
from the Dwina to the Dniester, their offensive on the flanks 
being particularly observable. In spite of heavy losses dur- 
ing the summer campaign, they had been rapidly recovering 
from the effects of their reverses, and were reinforcing their 
troops with daily increasing supplies of men, guns, and am- 
munitions. The division of troops to the Serbian frontier 
had visibly weakened the German strength, and opened up 

v. vii is 



opportunities for Russian commanders to break through lines 
opposed to them. The general commanding the German 
forces before Dvinsk had expected to enter the town by the 
end of September; a month later he stood still in approxi- 
mately the same position, having lost something like 40,000 
men in attacks against Russian lines. After a short lull the 
fighting began again, and on October 23 the Germans scored 
their first marked success in the Dvinsk region where, after 
long and vigorous artillery preparation, they attacked the 
Russian trenches west of Illuxet. At first their attack was 
repulsed, but toward the close of the day they succeeded in 
breaking through, and, after a desperate battle in the streets, 
occupied the town. It seemed as if that success was to open 
up a new chapter in the battle before Dvinsk. Again on 
October 27-28 the Germans broke through the Russian front 
near the village of Garbunovka and south of it, and 
reach the western outskirts of big forests which extend 
between the Illuxet-Shiskovo road and the Dwina. Here, 
however, their advance was brought to a stop. The Dvinsk 
front was held by an army deemed one of the best discip- 
lined among the Russian forces, and was abundantly sup- 
plied with artillery and ammunition. In ten days of fierce 
fighting in the region of Lake Sventen and Illsen, which 
ended on November 11, it had justified its reputation. 

On October 31 the offensive against Riga entered on its 
last stage. The main interest during the first half of Novem- 
ber centered around attempts to break through in the Shlock 
region, between Lakes Kanger and Babit and the sea. The 
offensive began with attacks near Kemmern and Tchin, at 
the western extremity of Lake Babit. Fighting continued 
for several days, spreading to Raggasem at the northeastern 
end of Lake Kanger. As the battle continued it turned 
slowly to the advantage of the Russians, and culminated 
on November 10 in a battle in which the Russian fleet co- 
operated effectively with land batteries. The Germans at- 
tempted to assume the offensive, but were beaten back by 
a counter-move. The Russian advance was attended with 
incredible difficulties, troops going forward over thawing 
snow in swollen marshes, and with a German maxim posted 
on every mound and elevation. The men were obliged in 



many places to wade waist-deep in icy water. Off Riga, 
the Russian fleet rendered support. Its shells, bursting far 
into German lines, blew up trenches, dismantled batteries, 
and cut off connection with reserves, until finally the Rus- 
sians surged into Kemmern. Eleven days of almost uninter- 
rupted fighting had resulted in a German defeat, and all 
attempts against Riga along the sea were thereafter given 
up. Isolated attacks in the neighborhood of the farm of 
Bersemunde, opposite the islet of Dalen, became late in 
November the end of the German offensive against the line 
of the Dvina. 

By November 25 the Germans had entered upon the 
difficult operation of withdrawing from the Riga territory. 
Mitau, their forward base, had already been evacuated of 
everything bulky or valuable. Over a great part of the 
two hundred mile section artillery-fire was now almost the 
only form of their activity. They devoted their main ener- 
gies to the construction of a fourfold line of trenches, with 
a formidable series of wire-entanglements extending over 
scores of miles. In their remote rear they were kept busy 
building field-railways and tram-lines. These were made 
to work regularly from the interior of .Germany as far east 
as Bausk and Poniewitz, which were the termini of trunk 
lines. Wireless telegraphy was installed along the rear of 
the whole extent of the German front. Light metal build- 
ings were provided with steam heaters and so were some 
of the trenches. Supplies of sleeping-sacks were procured 
and provisions made for quantities of spirits, strict orders 
being issued that soldiers should rub themselves all over 
with the spirits daily. 

Quantities of calico, linen, holland-cloth and other w r hite 
materials were sent to the front, the whole region held by 
the Germans being pillaged of such material. The object 
was to cover with it uniforms, trenches and supply-carts, 
in the hope that they would thus be made as invisible to 
the Russians as snow fields, were. Special tripod supports, 
able to carry a large expanse of white material, were pro- 
vided, under which soldiers could bivouac unseen by aero- 
planes. About Kemmern and Olai were prepared well-built 
dugouts with portable stoves and beds. These were de- 


stroyed twice by long-range artillery-fire, and finally taken 
by the Russians, German attempts to recapture them being 
unsuccessful. By December 2 in the Vilna region the Ger- 
mans had completed an unbroken line of winter trenches 
from Smorgen to Novo Svientsiany, and as fat south as 
Dieliatitchi. In anticipation of a spring offensive from 
Russia the Germans were fortifying the line of the Bug, for 
which work they requisitioned large companies of French 
and Belgian prisoners some 30,000 in all. Three rows of 
fortifications with concrete emplacements for heavy artillery 
were completed on the right bank of the river. On the op- 
posite bank were deep trenches and mine galleries. 

Russian officers meanwhile, snugly ensconced themselves in 
dugouts, simply but cleanly furnished with camp beds, col- 
lapsible tables, stools, ikons, and lamps, with the latest 
magazines, papers, and maps. These austere surroundings 
were in contrast to the rather luxurious quarters of German 
officers at the rear of the Mitau front, which were said to 
be provided with electric lights, soft couches, carpets, bells, 
and innumerable toilet articles. The cold told especially 
on the aviation service in this region. German aeroplanes 
went up less and LBSS often. Owing to the rapid increase 
in the cold with every hundred yards of altitude aeroplanes 
were compelled to fly comparatively low, which, having 
regard for the Russian artillery, was often a fatal risk. 

It might well have been asked why Hindenburg's plans 
for the subjugation of Russia had miscarried. It began 
with advantages all in his favor. The Germans had greater 
mobility in all that concerns routes of transport and trans- 
port appliances. Their munitionment was many times better 
than that of the Russians. They had the mechanical devices 
limitless motor-transport, skilled gangs of road-makers to 
overcome the pathlessness and roadlessness of the country. 
Nor was there anything wrong in the plan itself, and there 
certainly was no lack of energy in carrying it out and yet 
armies, superior in numbers, in guns and in every scientific 
aid to the prosecution of modern war, failed to destroy and 
cut off any considerable part of the Russian force which 
for nearly five months had been involved in the intricacies 
and discouragements of a retreat. 



The unveiling occurred In the summer of 1915, after the great victory over 

Russia. Subscribers to war loans were allowed to drive nails into the 

statue for each five marks one iron nail 



Much could be set down to the tenacity and skill of the 
Russian resistance, and to the fact that German armies as 
they rolled eastward began to lose their initial advantages. 
Large numbers had to be absorbed in garrison duties and 
in guarding lines of communications, for the country was 
hostile, and security had to 'be fought for. The fighting 
remainder meanwhile lost its elasticity. Many units had 
been advancing since May, and while they occupied great 
tracts of land, they had never received that inspiration 
which comes from inflicting indubitable defeat on an enemy 
in the field. The Germans were weakened by their own 
strength. Under the best of circumstances their great guns 
and large supply-trains had to travel slowly. Any section 
of the Russian front could be driven in, but the fruits of 
the resulting salients could not be reaped. Before their 
bases could be cut, the Russians slipt out of the noose and 
straightened their line. 

The end of September had seen a definite check in the Ger- 
man advance. While Vilna and Grodno had fallen the 
Germans had not made good on the line of the Dwina. With 
winter almost upon them, they had found no suitable place 
for quarters; they had still to struggle on through the rains 
of autumn and the first snows. While the Russian armies 
were clearing themselves against further threats of danger, 
news came of a new aspect in the winter campaign. On 
September 25 was begun the long expected Allied offensive 
in the west, the French in the Champagne, the British in 

On their southern wing the Austro-Germans had been 
doing badly. Along the Austrian right and center the ad- 
vance had slackened and in places had stopt, even when 
Hinden burg's armies were fighting in the north for posses- 
sion of Dvinsk and Riga. At both ends of the Teutonic 
line in Russia, weakening of the offensive was directly 
traceable to the nature of the country. The Austro-German 
line showed a big gap in the region of the Pripet Marshes, 
the Austrians were, for the moment, out of touch with their 
allies in the north. The history of the war had repeatedly 
shown that, once the Austrians lost the aid and skill of 
German troops, they were hardly a match for Russians, es- 



pecially when it came to widespread operations with much 
cavalry fighting, as now was the case in the Volhynia dis- 
trict and along the Galician border. 

To a minor degree, but still to an important degree, this 
was also the case along the Dwina front, and with Prince 
Leopold north of the Pripet Marshes, where the great mass 
of rivers, lakes, bogs and forests mark a country unadapted 
to that symmetry of operations which in this war and other 
wars had been one of the main reasons for German suc- 
cesses. Given a lake and marsh country, well provided with 
railways, and the Germans would have had the game in their 
own hands, as Hindenburg had twice had it in the Tannen- 
berg country; but given swamps, lakes and rivers, without 
railways or roads, and the Russians were on a level with 
the Germans. 

For almost two months a desperate battle went on on the 
middle Styr, in which the Austrians and German forces 
under Linsingen met the Russian troops at Brusiloff, com- 
mander of the Eighth Army, who, in the summer of 1915, 
had carried out a skilful retreat from the central Carpa- 
thians to Volhynia. A battle on the Styr had begun on 
September 27, with a German offensive in the southern 
areas. For weeks the fighting continued to oscillate east 
and west. Attacks and counter-attacks followed one an- 
other with that almost monotonous regularity which was 
characteristic of regular trench-warfare. About October 25 
Austro-German forces assumed a counter-offensive on the 
Lisova-Budka line and round Komaroff. During the follow- 
ing week, every day each side reported heavy fighting and 
big captures of prisoners. The Russians had to fall back 
before overwhelming numbers and then in turn, on re- 
ceiving reinforcements, they advanced. Meantime the late 
autumn was rendering operations more difficult, and, when 
the enforced lull set in, the Austro-German forces still stood 
on the western banks of the Styr, far away from Rovno. 

On October 30 the Austrians assumed the offensive north 
of the Dniester. Holding the belt of forests and canons on 
the left bank between Butchatch and Zaleschyki, they had 
a distinct tactical advantage, and the initiative lay with 
them, but before the movement had time to develop it was 



checked by a vigorous Russian counter-offensive which was 
opened on the following day in the sector of Siemikovitse. 
Seriously threatened from that quarter, the Austrians had 
to relinquish for the time being all attempts at flanking 
movement from the south. This was, however, only the be- 
ginning of the fighting at Siemikovitse, one of the most 
peculiar battles fought in the war. Forces amounting on 
either side to nearly an army corps contested a front about 
a mile and a half wide, while batteries of all calibers de- 
veloped hurricanes of fire from the opposite banks of the 
lake and marshes. Making use of broken ground and of the 
cover which it afforded, the Austrians attempted on Novem- 
ber 2 an attack against Siemikovitse. At first they suc- 
ceeded in penetrating the Russian front, but a Russian 
counter-offensive cut off the advanced body which had en- 
tered the village. During the next few days the Austrians 
regained most of the ground on the western bank of the 
Strypa. Then a lull set in, but it was again broken toward 
the end of the month, when the Austrians attempted to 
regain a foothold on the eastern side. By a skilful counter- 
attack the Russians managed to drive them back and pin 
retreating columns to the river. A fearful struggle ensued; 
in preference to surrendering, the Austrians threw them- 
selves into the water, where they were either drowned or 
perished under the fire of Russian batteries. 

Toward the end of November a complete lull in the fight- 
ing set in along the entire Eastern Front. The opposing 
forces were still facing one another practically on the same 
lines which they had held two months earlier, at the con- 
clusion of the Russian retreat from Vilna. The German 
plan of gaining a front in the East, which, owing to su- 
periority of communications and the possession of a lateral 
connection across the Marshes of the Pripet, could have 
been held by forces inferior to those of the attacking side, 
had failed. On the Dwina and everywhere south of the 
Marshes also, the Russians maintained themselves in posi- 
tions in which they had the use of equal, if not superior, 
systems of roads and railways. 

After a successful advance of five months, during which, 
with comparatively few reverses, the Austro-German armies 



had been making progress on an average of about two miles 
a day, their offensive had broken down in front not only of 
Riga and Dvinsk, but of Rovno and Tarnapol. This final 
breakdown in the East failed, however, to strike the imag- 
ination of the outside public, as had the collapse of the 
German advance in France in the early days of the war, 
and yet the two events seemed at the time comparable in 
intrinsic values to the Allies. In either case the Teutonic 
forces, by their previous advance, had conquered a country 
they could exploit and oppress, but in both cases they failed 
to reduce their opponents to a state of strategical and mili- 
tary impotence. Both failures seem to have been due in 
part to similar causes; an exaggerated estimate of the re- 


suits first achieved and an under-estimate of the recupera- 
tive power of the enemy, which in turn led to a premature 
withdrawal of forces from the area in which a decisive vic- 
tory had been almost gained. 

Winter weather was soon to impose inactivity in all parts 
of the Russian Front, but the Russians in winter would be 
able to do many things which the invaders could not. Im- 
mense reinforcements could be forwarded, and when spring 
came Russia not only would be well provided with muni- 
tions, but would have so completed her preparations that 
she might be in force superior to her Teutonic enemies. No 
Russian probably had expected to meet an army powerful 
enough to invade Russian soil and Russian cities. Proof 



from the Germans and Austria to the contrary only called 
out the fortitude and determination of the Russian people, 
who in 1915 had shown the fortitude which their great- 
grandfathers had shown when Napoleon advanced on 
Moscow. Fresh armies were being organized at Petrograd, 
Smolensk and Kief, in preparation for a spring campaign. 
Russia's resources in men were known to be practically in- 
exhaustible. Allowing for a permanent loss already of four 
million killed, disabled and prisoners, there still remained 
from seven to eight millions between the ages of twenty and 
forty-four who were either in the fighting line or being 
trained in depots. Then there was the Opolochenie, or Im- 
perial Militia, the final Russian reserve, which* had not been 
drawn upon at all, but which could yield 10,000,000 men of 
fighting age when required. As far as men were concerned, 
Russia was in position to continue the war long after attri- 
tion had done its work among the armies of the two Central 
Powers. If the Russian Government could cope with the 
equipment difficulty during the winter months, she could look 
forward with confidence to the results of another year's 
campaign that is, provided the morale of her people could 
be maintained, provided also that a revolution did not nullify 
every kind of forecast. 

Russia expected by that time to have vast numbers of new 
men available for service out of the millions she would 
summon. All were to be under strict military law, but the 
majority were intended for use in perfecting services on 
which the success of the fighting forces at the front de- 
pended. Within a brief period of time all Russia that win- 
ter was turned into a military camp. Factories, ironworks, 
and engineering shops were taken over for the manufacture 
of everything needed for the armies in the field. The rail- 
ways were served by men under military discipline. Russia 
was thus doing what Germany did at the outset of war. All 
the able-bodied men in the nation were serving her, some 
with rifle and bayonet, some with gun and maxim, some 
with pick and spade, but many others with the tools of 
peace which had now become the necessary tools of war. 
When properly supplied with rifles, Russia expected to have 
at least 2,000,000 additional soldiers. In due time her army 



would be well supplied with heavy guns and munitions, 
and her infantry with thousands of machine-guns and rifles. 
Thus optimistically ran the Russian news all ihat winter. 

Russia was not to depend for another year on Archangel 
for an outlet in the west. Before 1916 she would have 
ready a still better port on the Arctic Ocean called Novo 
Alexandrovsk, which was the only port in the Arctic not 
absolutely closed to Russia at any season, either by the exi- 
gencies of war or by the rigors of winter. It lies well 
within the arctic circle. Through the winter of 1915-1916, 
munitions and supplies poured into it. Its importance be- 
came so great that a new and regular passenger-service was 
established from it to England and Sweden. Novo Alexan- 
.drovsk lay on a sort of eastern continuation of the Scandi- 
navian peninsula. It was further north than Archangel, 
and, unlike Archangel, was not sheltered by land from 
arctic winds. Nevertheless, it was free of ice all winter long. 
The reason was the presence in its harbor of water from 
the Gulf Stream which there reached the last stage of its 
journey eastward and so warmed the arctic sea that with 
the air 22 degrees below zero, there was -not a particle 
of ice in the harbor. The sea-water in this harbor, as a 
matter of fact, made snow along the water's edge continually 

It was not until the war revealed to Russia the urgent 
need of an ice-free port that certain old plans for a port at 
Novo Alexandrovsk and for a railway leading to it from 
the south, 'first made in Count Witte's time, had been disin- 
terred, and thousands of men employed to put them into ex- 
ecution. By the latter part of 1915, a section of the line 
running south from the coast as far as Kandalaksk was ready. 
Meanwhile, communication from that point with Archangel 
over the ice of the "White Sea was established for the 
winter by means of sledges and motor-wagons, while another 
line of sledge and motor-wagons w3s opened westward from 
Kandalaksk to Rovenieme, the nearest railway-station, with 
relays at intervals of from twenty-five to thirty miles. Some 
of the Finnish railroads were worked overtime while carry- 
ing supplies from Russia's new port. Meanwhile prepara- 
tions were made to hasten forward a double-tracked line from 



Novo Alexandrovsk to Petrograd, some 650 miles in length, 
as soon as the spring thaw of 1916 should set in. 

This port stood out as one of the most important con- 
structive results of the war. Finns, Lapps and Russians, 
alike labored unremittingly on the railway line between 
Petrograd and Semenowa, the latter city far beyond the 
arctic circle. The work was pushed feverishly in order to 
overreach the blockade by land and sea that had isolated 
Russia in the west. It meant the building of a road through 
an unfavorable country, in many places water-soaked by 
low-banked rivers, filled with countless lakes, and, through 
a great part of the year, frozen and buried under feet of 
snow. The line, in leaving Petrograd, ran east around Lake 
Ladoga, then turned to a northern course, until it reached 
its terminus on the Polar Sea. Novo Alexandrovsk was for- 
merly a small collection of fishermen's huts. With its large 
docks and other harbor improvements, it was now to become 
a thriving port. While not such a warm-water port as the 
Muscovite had sought for years, it was on ice-free water, 
and navigation was possible all the year long around the 
North Cape. It gave Russia a new city on open, western 
waters, and a naval station beyond molestation by a rival 
Power. Thus, as stated, it probably formed the most im- 
portant constructive effort put forth, at least by Russia, 
during the course of the war. 

7 Principal Sources : The Times, The Tribune, New York ; The Times 
(London), The London Times' "History of the War"; The Economist, The 
Fortnightly Review, London; The World, The Evening Sun, New York; The 
Daily Chronicle, The Morning Post, London ; "Bulletins" of the National 
Geographic Society (New Yorkl, Associated Press dispatches, "Nelson's His- 
tory of the War" by John Buchan. 



Part III 



C T I 



" Sled and Motor Route. 

.............. Sied Route to Archangel. 

* Railroads completed. 

Scale of Miles 

50 100 


What came to be called Russia's Murman Railroad. Its termini being 
Petrograd and Novo Alexandrovsk, a port on the Arctic Ocean, was com- 
pleted In the third year of the war. Novo Alexandrovsk is ice-free all the 
year, owing to its exposure to the water from the Gulf Stream, whereas 
the more southern Russian Arctic port. Archangel, is closed from October 
to May for want of such water. At Novo Alexandrovsk vast supplies for 
Russia from Entente countries were arriving when the revolution elimi- 
nated Russia from the war 



December 23, 1915 July 5, 1916 

ON the Eastern Front 'the Russians, taking the offensive 
in the late winter and spring, assaulted German en- 
trenchments at four points on the 700-mile line between 
Riga and Roumania, which now represented the high-water 
mark of the German advance of 1915. This line, except for 
local irregularities, ran almost straight north and south 
from the Dwina to the Pruth; that is, it followed the 
shortest route between the two points. It was shorter by a 
third than the line which the Germans and Austrians would 
have had to defend if they had stayed within their own 
national boundaries. Thus by their invasion of Russia, 
which had eliminated the Polish salient, they had shortened 
their front, instead of lengthening it. But they had as- 
sumed new obligations on the lower eastern frontier that 
is, obligations to defend Serbia and Bulgaria from Allied 
drives that now were expected to take place later from 
Saloniki, Mackensen having conquered Serbia in an easy drive. 
While the line along which the Germans had maintained 
their winter-quarters was well adapted for defensive pur- 
poses, they had failed at two points to secure strategic 
positions- these were near the two ends of the line. At the 
southern end, the Austrians had not been able to free their 
country altogether from the invaders: the Russians held on 
stoutly to a corner of Galicia north of the Dniester and to 
the fortress of Rovno, just inside the frontier. At the 
northern end, the Germans had not been able to capture 
Riga and Dvinsk, where their front made a curve around 
the two cities, between which it extended to the Dwina at 
Jacobstadt and Friedrichstadt. What the Russians now did 
was to strike at these two defective sectors in the Teutonic 
line. If they could succeed in the south, they might be able 
to reinvade the Bukowina and Galicia, in which case Rou- 



mania might join with them in an attack on Hungary. If 
they succeeded in the north, they might compel the Ger- 
mans to evacuate the Baltic provinces. 

The mildest winter in decades had been an important 
factor in rendering futile Rusian efforts thus far to gain lost 
territory. Every mile of the front fairly bristled with 
deadly machine-guns. With a multitude of rapid-firing 
guns, the Germans, with a small number of men, were able 
to hold a line definitely. Millions of running feet of barbed- 
wire entanglements had transformed each village and house 
into a fortress. Swamps from two to ten miles wide, in the 
region of Pinsk, were not once frozen over entirely during 
the winter. Not only w T as every yard of this front fenced 
in with entanglements, but there were supporting points at 
short intervals which, in themselves, became veritable for- 
tresses surrounded by star-shaped barricades of wire. Each 
was subdivided into barricaded sections, with bomb-proof 
shelters, and machine-guns along both sides of each point of 
the star. Supporting points were surrounded by wire, 
stretched knee-high on which were hung pairs of empty 
bottles which would clink an alarm the moment a wire 
was touched. 

On December 23 fighting had been unexpectedly renewed 
at the southern end of the front. Here the Russians were 
the attacking side. For months news had been current of 
the massing of Russian troops in southern Russia. As far 
back as the middle of February, the fall of Erzerum had 
made it clear to the world at large how considerable a 
portion of the Russian army was operating in Asia, and 
yet another portion had been ready for an offensive on the 
Bessarabian frontier toward the end of December, the pur- 
pose being to distract German attention from the Balkans, 
and to cover up the Russian preparations for the master- 
blow that was to come in the Caucasus. The most natural 
line for this Russian offensive against the Teutons, because 
the most threatening, led through a gap between the Dnies- 
ter and the Pruth. Here an advance could be effected on a 
limited front. Broken ground offered scope for skilful ma- 
neuvering and enfilading fire from well-placed batteries. 
Sapping and mining devices were used. A much-contested 



ridge between two villages was carried, and important 
heights dominating the approach to Czernowitz were cap- 
tured. Tales were told of heroic deeds, suffering and death 
by Tcherkiss fighters from the Caucasus, by patient Rus- 
sian muzhiks, by Slav peasants from Moravia and Croatia 
in Austro-Hungarian uniforms, as well as by Magyars and 
Germans, the two master-races of the Hapsburg monarchy. 
Late in January, along the Dniester and in the corner 
where meet the frontiers of 
Russia, Austria and Roumania, 
the Russian offensive attracted 
close attention. For several 
weeks progress was made. Once 
there were heard from Petro- 
grad unconfirmed rumors that 
Czernowitz had fallen and that 
Russian troops were about to 
penetrate the Bukowina. Fur- 
ther to the north, about Tarno- 
pol and east of the fortresses of 
Dubno and Lutzk, which had 
fallen to the Austrians in the 
summer offensive, the Russians 
were approaching the Styr 
river between the fortresses of 

Lutzk and the Pripet Marshes. GENEUAL . SnKHOMLIXOFF 

Fighting here was severe. The sukhomiinoff served first as Chief 
Russians made material prog- of staff to the Grand Duke and 

~ ,. . ^ . afterward as Minister of War. He 

reSS in GallCia, and passing was accused of treason, formally 

the Sereth approached and tried and sentenced to imprison- 
ment with loss of rank 

crossed the fetyrpa at certain 

points, pushing up-stream along the Dniester at several 
points north and west of Czernowitz. After moderate prog- 
ress, this offensive in the last days of January had apparently 
been checked. 

In February, however, it was announced that the Rus- 
sians had captured Usciezko in Galicia. Usciezko was a 
natural stronghold, on a high ridge between the Dniester 
and its tributary, the Zurin, near the point of confluence. 
Here the Teutons dominated a wide stretch of country on 

V. VII 14 



the east bank and poured a galling fire into Russian posi- 
tions. The precipitous slopes of the ridge, covered with 
dense undergrowth under the guidance of German engineers, 
had been converted into a miniature Gibraltar. The Rus- 
sians not only stormed this strong German position, but 
crossed the Dniester, altho the opposite bank was equally 
precipitous and strongly fortified. By driving the Teutons 
west of the Dniester, they achieved a notable tactical success 
and one which favorably influenced the minor strategy of 
the campaign in Galicia. 

The Russian operation in all this territory bordering on 
the Bukowina and Roumania was an effort to retake certain 
valuable positions in order to make more certain their hold 
there, and to strengthen their line against a possible spring 
offensive by regaining towns and hills that possest strategic 
or tactical value. There were now distinctly hopeful signs 
of an Allied success on the Eastern Frontier because of 
this recuperation in the Russian armies. Under these cir- 
cumstances the Russians in the last days of March renewed 
the war, assuming the initiative at first south of Dvinsk, 
where they aimed at driving a wedge into the German lines. 
The extent of the battle-front indicated the employment of 
large forces, but they felt able to take advantage, and per- 
haps to take chances, from the absorption of German, ener- 
gies at Verdun, where the great assault had begun on 
February 21. The resumption in the north was coupled 
with an offensive in the lake-country south of Dvinsk, where 
the Russians engaged the Teutons on a fifty-mile front be- 
tween lakes Drisviaty and Narocz, and must have brought 
into play well over 100,000 men with an expenditure of 
ammunition to correspond. Simultaneously the Austrian 
bridge-head at Usiesko, one of the two positions on the north 
bank of the Dniester that remained in Teutonic control after 
the January fighting, fell into Russian hands. The impor- 
tance of the struggle then going on around Verdun naturally 
overshadowed in all the war news the contest on the Eastern 
Front, but on the evening of March 19, more than 50,000 
shells, chiefly of heavy caliber, fell over a small section in 
the east near Postavy. At night the Russians attacked in 
thick waves, the first two of which were mowed down before 



they reached the German entanglements. The third only 
pierced the German position on a front of less than 100 
yards, and by a counter-attack the Russians were ejected 
from it. At dawn they made a fourth attack, but it was 
smothered in the initial stages by German artillery. 

Four divisions participated in these movements, which 
were finally developed from isolated encounters along a ten-, 
mile front into a general engagement that extended over 
more than thirty-five miles. The Russians forestalled the 
Germans by cutting into the German front between 

RUSSIAN Droorxs 

Augustinov and Epkun, and by a southward advance toward 
the railway. This German sector projected in a horseshoe- 
shaped line toward the east. Despite fierce counter-attacks 
the Germans were not able to recover what they lost. The 
Russians also pushed out in the neighborhood of Lake 
Sventen. Climatic conditions hampered movements on both 
sides, but all along the front some fighting was in progress. 
In the neighborhood of Kolki the Germans abandoned their 
first line defenses because they were flooded out of them, 
but they held their second line. They did a large amount 



of aviation work, but some of their aeroplanes were brought 
clown. Tremendous expenditures of ammunition on the 
Uxkull bridgehead did not bring them results. For weeks 
they failed to penetrate the Russian line in frontal attacks. 

May brought an Austrian eruption into Italy, but General 
Alexeiev made no sign of further movement in the east, 
.which aroused criticism because the Italian commander, 
Cadorna, was sorely tried, and it looked as if the Archduke 
Karl might reach the Venetian plains. The fact was that 
Russia had her own plans and they needed time to mature. 
She was making ready for a great combined Allied offensive 
which was due as soon as Germany had spent her strength 
at Verdun and British troops and guns were ready for 
action on the Somme in northern France. It had taken 
Russia all the weeks of a long winter to make her prepara- 
tions, to drill her reserves, to improve communications, and 
collect munitions. Ivanov's Christmas attack on Czernowitz 
and Ewert's spring offensive toward Vilna had been only 
local assaults with a local purpose. The real advance had 
been conceived on a far greater scale, and with a wider 
strategic purpose. At a given signal, in conjunction with 
her Allies, Russia finally swept forward,when that device 
of Germany's which had hitherto checked Russia the power 
of moving troops at will by her great internal railway lines 
was defeated. The Teutonic power when fighting every- 
where at once would have no troops to move. 

With the coming of early summer, Russia resumed the 
offensive, vigorously now and for weeks successfully. Her 
task had been in a way similar to that of Great Britain. 
She had found herself in the midst of an unprovoked war 
in a condition where she had to build up new armies and 
devise means for supplying them with war-material. Russia, 
however, unlike Great Britain, was favored in having highly 
trained officers, and in possessing, in the widest sense of 
the word, the tradition of a great national army; but she 
was handicapped in matters of industrial development and 
of communications within her border, and with the outer 
world. In spite of this, Russia thus far accomplished results 
and surpassed even the hopes of Russia's Allies. All this 
should be kept in remembrance when reflecting on Russia's 
collapse in March, 1917. 



The summer of 1916 found Russian armies between the 
Baltic and the Roumanian frontier grouped in three main 
divisions. Kuropatkin, who by an Imperial ukase dated 
February 19, had been appointed Commander-in-Chief of 
the Northern Armies in place of Plehve, was in charge of 
the Riga-Dvinsk line. The center facing Vilna remained 
under command of Ewarts, who, by skill displayed in the 
retreat from the Niemen, had enhanced a reputation earned 
in the Russo-Japanese War. The armies south of the 
Pripet Marshes were under command of Ivanoff, but in the 
first days of April that old soldier was recalled to Imperial 
Headquarters to act as military adviser to the Czar, and his 
place at the front was taken by Brusiloff, who had hitherto 
led the Eighth Army. At the beginning of the summer 
offensive, Brusiloff 's command included four armies. Toward 
the end of June, when Volhynia had become the main 
battle-ground of Europe, the army commanded by Lesh was 
transferred to this theater. 

It was in the southern area, and especially in the spheres 
of operation of the Eighth and Ninth Russian Armies, that 
the chief battles were fought during the opening stages of 
the new offensive. There were two separate regions within 
that area, the Russian district of Volhynia and the Austrian 
territories in East Galicia and the Bukowina. It was in the 
country between the Dniester and the Carpathians that the 
advance was pushed most vigorously during the first month. 
Here it was possible to exploit to the full an initial ad- 
vantage without danger of sudden reverses. 

There were three stages in the Russian offensive. The 
first began on June 4, with the piercing of the Austrian 
lines in the district of Lutsk and in the Bukowina. The 
following month saw these tactical achievements developed 
into strategical victories. Two Austro-Hungarian armies, 
one in Vplhynia and the other south of the Dniester, were 
involved in irretrievable disaster, and the parts of the front 
held by them caved in. The second phase was mainly con- 
cerned with three Austrian armies holding the line between 
the Pripet Marshes and Roumania. The problem here was 
whether an approximately straight line was to be regained 
by the flattening out of Russian salients or by a completion 



of the Russian advance. By the middle of August, when 
the troops of Bothner evacuated the last remaining sectors 
of the original front, this question was definitely solved in 
favor of the, Russians. The problem of the third phase was 
whether it was possible to make any further advance at this 
time in the Podolian center; that is, between the Lvoff- 
Krasne-Tarnapol railway in the north and the Dniester in 
the south. Considerable tactical success was gained toward 
the end of August and in September, but no strategic ad- 
vance was achieved and meantime the center of the fighting 
on the Eastern Front shifted to the Roumanian theater. 
Management of the Eastern Front had now passed into 
German hands, which had provided large reinforcements to 
fill gaps in the depleted ranks of Austria, and the entire 
front was put under Hindenburg. 

It was after some advances by the Germans at Verdun, 
after their capture of a village from the British in Picardy, 
and after Austrian captures of Alpine peaks and passes 
from the Italians, that brief bulletins came from Petrograd 
announcing the taking of some thousands of Austro-Hun- 
garian prisoners and the occupation of regions some square 
miles in extent. By June 4 the Russian drive extended 
along a line of 250 miles, or from the Pripet River to the 
Roumanian frontier. No such ambitious attempt had been 
launched since the Austro-German advance in the spring of 
1915 on a line stretching from the Baltic to the Carpathians. 
It eventually effected the collapse of the Austrian line along 
the Styr and Ikwa rivers, with results in the Pripet Marshes 
and in Galicia. Such was the news that now came from 
the eastern frontier that for a time it overshadowed the 
land-fighting in any other territory, even that at Verdun. 
Russia apparently was to prove herself the savior of the 
Entente. She had once been beaten, but it had taken 
Austria, and all the men -Germany could spare, from Feb- 
ruary to October, 1915, to do it, and during all that time 
the lines in the west were practically free from attacks. 
But now, with Italy in straits, Russia once more was coming 
forward. Austria's advance -in the Trentino had proved that 
her concentration was far greater than the Allies knew or 
had imagained, and yet the Russian front was the only 



place from which Austrian forces could have been drawn. 
Russia at the same time was fighting desperately against the 
Turks in the Caucasus and in Mesopotamia and was ap- 
parently making every sacrifice, in order to maintain her 
eastern army at a maximum of offensive power. 

The military objectives of the Russian drive were 
essentially two. The first was the town of Kovel; the second 
Lemberg. The railroads from Kovel and Lemberg were the 
life-lines of the Austrian army north of Galicia. If Kovel 




fell there would be a section of line more than a hundred 
miles in length without railroad transportation, in a country 
that was one vast swamp, and through which it was almost 
impossible to construct roads with any of the paraphernalia 



The advance began on practically the whole eastern line, but was most nota- 
ble In the parts shown In this map and the map on page 207. The towns 
most concerned In it were Lutsk. Dubno. and Kovel in the map on page 207. 
Kolomea, Stanlslau and Czeruowitz in the above map 



carried by an army. This offensive could not be compared 
to any of the offensive movements in the west. Here it 
was not a question of storming a first-line trench and then 
resting. The Russians had first to sweep through whole net- 
works of trenches that the Austrians had constructed for 
several miles in the rear of their lines, but they now had 
them in the open and did not give them time to dig in. 

Events seemed to be moving favorably for this project. 
The Serbian army, reconstituted under French protection at 
Corfu, had been brought to Saloniki, and was about 100,000 
strong. Turkey had lost Erzerum and Trebizond and been 
forced to send her best troops away from the Balkans. 
Italy had resisted the Austrian attack, not brilliantly, but 
sufficiently to reassure her Allies. Austria had lost in the 
late winter an important position at Usziesko on the Dniester. 
It was small wonder that the Bulgarians became alarmed 
and seized Greek forts on the Macedonian border in an 
effort at any cost to strengthen their southern front; small 
wonder that the Crown Prince redoubled his efforts to break 
the French front at Verdun because the danger to the 
Teutons in the southeast had become immediate. 

On June 4, Russian guns began slowly and methodically 
to throw their shells on previously selected points of the 
German line. It did not appear that any attempt was made 
to wipe out the German trenches; the object was rather to 
cut avenues in wire-entanglements through which the Russian 
infantry could proceed to attack German positions. The 
artillery action in the different sectors lasted from twelve 
to thirty hours. Then followed a bayonet attack. As soon 
as the Russians entered Austrian front trenches, artillery 
developed a curtain of fire which precluded all communica- 
tions with the rear, and the Austrians were trapt. Their 
deep trenches, covered with solid oak timbers, fastened with 
cement, and surmounted by thick layers of earth, once the 
Russians reached them, became cages, and death or sur- 
render was the only alternative. During the first hours the 
Teutonic infantry, especially the Hungarians, fought 
furiously, and thousands were killed. Then their resistance 
slackened and they began to surrender. One day alone the 



haul of Austrian prisoners amounted to 13,000. On the 
third day, by noon, the armies of Brusiloff had taken as 
prisoners 900 officers and over 40,000 of the rank and file, 
had captured 77 guns and 134 machine-guns, 49 trench- 
mortars, searchlights, telephones, field-kitchens, and a large 
quantity of arms and material of war, with reserves of 
ammunition. A number of batteries were taken intact with 
all their guns and limbers. As ammunition-magazines are 
usually stationed about ten miles behind the front trenches, 
the enormous hauls of the first days in themselves gave wit- 
ness to the swiftness of the Russian advance. The short- 
ness of the bombardment preceding the attack and the 
simultaneous character of the operations along a front of 
about 250 miles, were novel features of the offensive. The 
most important fighting and the most signal victory of these 
opening days occurred within the triangle of the Volhynian 

The Austrians probably never dreamed of being turned 
out of their positions. Their works ran along the edge of 
a wood, with trenches constructed elaborately from great 
unhewn logs, heavily covered over, and so connected up 
with reserve- and support-trenches winding in every direc- 
tion through the woodland that the occupants must have 
considered themselves absolutely secure. At a safe distance 
from rifle-fire behind the lines, Stanley "Washburn 1 came on 
officers' quarters which seemed like a veritable park in the 
heart of a forest. He found a beer-garden ''with buildings 
beautifully constructed from logs and decorated with rustic 
tracery, while chairs and tables made of birch stood in 
lonely groups about the garden, just where they were left 
when the occupants of the place suddenly departed." In 
a sylvan bower was erected "a beautiful altar of birch 
trimmed with rustic traceries, the whole surrounded by a 
fence through which one passed under an arch neatly made 
of birch-branches." Mr. Washburn thought the Austrians 
must have had an extremely comfortable time there. Every- 
thing was clean and neat, and, no matter how humble the 
work, it was always replete with good taste. One of the ad- 
vancing corps captured a trench which had a piano in it. 

1 Correspondent of The Times (London). 



Everywhere Mr. Washburn found signs of the Austrian in- 
tention to make their stay as comfortable as possible. 

The attack against the fortress of Lutsk was conducted 
along concentric lines. On the first day it cut clean through 
the lines and cavalry poured through the gaps. Large 
bodies of Austro-Hungarian troops between Olyka and the 
Ikwa were cut off from all possibility of retreat before they 
even knew that their front had been broken. By June 6, 
the Russian forces had advanced more than twenty miles 
from their original positions and were approaching Lutsk 
from two sides. Lutsk itself, in a strong, natural position, 
covered on both wings by the deep and tortuous valley of 
the Styr, had been changed in the course of the war into a 
regular fortress. Defenses -of enormous strength covered 
its approaches, but the Austro-Hungarian troops were unable 
to offer serious resistance. Their lines were broken through 
near Podgaytse and near Krupy, and on June 6 the first 
Russian detachments entered Lutsk. Considerable artillery- 
stores fell into their hands. , The Austrians, having had no 
time to clear out the hospitals, had to abandon thousands of 
their wounded. 

Not only did the Russians gain the banks of the Ikwa and 
Styr, but they crossed those streams. In the region of Kovel, 
midway between Lutsk and Brest-Litovsk, and near Rovno, 
southeast of the fortress, they extended their lines, and in 
Galicia captured along the lower reaches of the Stripa 
heavily fortified positions. Considerable activity at the 
same time was shown by the Germans on the northern sec- 
tions of the Russian front, where German guns bombarded 
the line along the Dwina to the lake region south of Dvinsk 
and threw infantry attacks against Russian positions south 
of Smorgon. By June 10 Petrograd reported that 1,143 
officers and over 64,700 men had been made prisoners since 
the great drive began. The advance was notable for 
prisoners taken and machine-guns, ammunition, and other 
war-stores captured. The Russians reported that they had 
forced back the organized lines of their antagonists from 
the region of the Volhynia fortress triangle as far as 

Having captured Lutsk, the Russians retook Dubno,- the 




second of the fortresses in the triangle. Here the work 
was not as easy as it had been at Lutsk. The picturesque 
old town, in consequence, had to suffer severe damage. 
Simultaneously with this advance another Russian detach- 
ment captured the Austrian point d'appui at Mlynoff, on 
the Ikwa, and then crossed the river and occupied the Demi- 
dovka region. During the next few days they forced the 
enemy from the forests which cover this region, thus secur- 
ing the Lutsk salient from a sudden counter-offensive from 
the south. On June 13 they reached the village of Kozin, 
eighteen miles southwest of Dubno and nine miles west of 
the old battle-front on the Ikwa. Lutsk and Dubno, when 
the war began, constituted Russia's second line of defense 
in Poland. 

Due west of Lutsk the advance, meantime, was pushed 
forward at considerable speed. On June 12 the Russians 
reached Torchin, eighteen miles west of Lutsk. Next day 
fierce fighting occurred near Zaturtsy, more than half-way 
from Lutsk to Vladimir-Volynsk. By June 16 the sweep of 
the tide westward had attained high-water mark. Outposts 
occupied a wide semicircle round Olyka, with a radius of 
about forty-five miles, which stretched from about Kolki, 
on the Styr, to the north, then followed the Stokhod from 
near Svidniki to Kisielin, and reaching its farthest extension 
west in the Lokatchy-Sviniukhy-Gorokhoff sector bent back 
to the east toward Kozin. It was on the two wings of that 
salient that the last considerable gains were effected during 
the first stages of the offensive. 

The Germans were certain soon to start a counter-offensive. 
They were bringing up fresh troops, not merely from the 
northern area, but from France also, for they had to defend 
Kovel at any price. Its loss would have meant the cutting 
of direct communication between the northern and southern 
armies. A violent battle developed in the narrow sector where 
the courses of the Styr and Stokhod approach within some 
six to eight miles of one another, and by June 10 the 
Russians entered Radzivloff, the frontier-station on the 
Rovno-Brody-Lcoff railway. 

Twelve days of the offensive in Volhynia had resulted in 
an advance of thirty miles to the southwest of the recaptured 



fortress of Dubno, and a similar distance to the northwest 
of Lutsk. The entire Volhynia triangle of fortresses was 
again in Russian hands, while their outposts approached 
within some twenty-five miles of Kovel and reached the north- j 
eastern border of Galicia in front of Brody. In the course 
of those twelve days, the Cossack army of Kaledine alone 
had taken as prisoners 1,309 officers, 10 surgeons, and 70,000 
soldiers; it had captured 83 guns, 236 machine-guns, and 
quantities of other war-material. 

About the middle of June the pressure of the new Ger- 
man concentrations was beginning to make itself felt in 


Yolhynia, and resulted in about a fortnight of fierce, but 
more or less stationary, fighting on the entire front. Ger- 
man operations, which had Kovel for their base, were 
directed mainly against the Stokhod-Styr sector, while the 
Austrians, supported by German troops, fought in front of 
Vladimir-Volynsk, Sokal, and Stojanoff, and attacked the 
Lokatchy-Sviniukhy-Gorokhoff line. Before these violent 
German onslaughts the Russians found themselves obliged to 
withdraw their troops from the western bank of the Stokhod 
near Svidniki. A furious battle ensued on the front ex- 
tending from Sokal by way "of Gadomitche, Linievka and 



Voronchin to Kieselin, and on June 19 this fighting resulted 
in success for the Russians, who captured considerable num- 
bers of prisoners. No less violent was the German counter- 
offensive against the apex of the Lutsk salient. The similar- 
ity between Brusiloff's advance and the Russian drive 
against the Austrians at the beginning of the war was gen- 
erally commented on. One difference, however, was pointed 
out; Brusiloff's initial blow in 1916 was considerably more 
effective, the retreat of the Austrians this time being more 
precipitate than in August and September, 1914. 

There were no official reports printed of the Austrian 
losses. Optimistic estimates at Petrograd placed them as 
high as 200,000 men. Kovel, next to Lemberg the most 
important railroad center behind the eastern Austrian line, 
with Lemberg and Czernowitz, was an immediate objective 
of the Russian drive. With its capture the Russians would 
have been in complete control of the railway system serving 
that wing of the Austro-Hungarian front. They were 
squeezing the southern Teuton armies between two flanks, 
forcing them to retreat further and further toward the Car- 
pathians. With Kovel taken the Teutonic right wing would 
have been completely cut off from their armies in the north. 
Kovel, a town of 30,000 people at the beginning of the war, 
owed its strategic importance wholly to the fact that it was 
the junction point for railroads which radiate, like the 
spokes from the hub of a wheel, in five directions. To the 
northwest, 77 miles distant, was the strongly fortified city 
of Brest-Litovsk, with a population in 1913 of 63,579, over 
whose possession there had been a terrific struggle when the 
Germans were driving the Russians back through Poland early 
in the war. To the southeast, 84 miles away, was Rovno, a 
fortress with a population of 34,923 in 1913, and at that 
time the headquarters of the Eleventh Russian Army Corps. 
Lublin, with 69,972 inhabitants in 1913, was 100 miles due 
west, on the railroad running to Warsaw, 209 miles away. 
Then to the south was Vladimir- Volynski, 35 miles distant. 
To the east ran the line which passed through Sarny on its 
way to Kief. 

By June 19 Czernowitz was in the hands of the Russians, 
and the Austrians were in retreat towards the Carpathians. 



Hard fighting took place for the capture of the Czernowitz 
bridgehead, but finally the Russians gained the right bank 
of the river and the Austrians evacuated the capital, leaving 
1,000 prisoners and some guns in the hands of the Russians. 
Altho Czernowitz had changed hands many times in this 
war, it still remained a point of interest and importance. 
It was the capital of Austrian crown-lands, forming one of 
the richest parts of Galicia. It v/as, moreover, the strongest 
bridgehead along the Pruth. Once taken, the entire Austrian 
position along the Pruth could be turned, and the Austrians 
compelled to retreat to the Carpathians. A large section 
of the Austrian army would by such a maneuver be cut off 
from the main army and placed in a precarious position. 
With a population of 94,000 in 1914, Czernowitz w r as the 
most easterly city of importance in the Austro-Kungarian 

It was now beginning to appear that the rejuvenation of 
the Russian forces had been so complete that the whole 
aspect of the war might change. The real advance on 
Czernowitz had been held in abeyance until the capture of 
Lutsk and Dubno could be accomplished, so that the final 
assault awaited the moment when Brusiloff was sure of his 
gains in the Lutsk region, 150 miles further north, and 
when he might cut off the defenders of Czernowitz from 
their natural line of retreat, westward through Sniatyn, thus 
forcing them southward into the Carpathians. The capture 
of the place was in this manner subordinated to a greater 
purpose. As soon as the offensive had made fast its gains 
beyond Lutsk, and had provided against a withdrawal of 
the Austrians from Czernowitz toward Lemberg, the assault 
moved forward and forced its way into the city. 

The reoccupation of Lutsk meant not merely the collapse 
of the Austrian line along the Styr and Ikwa, but produced 
results immediately perceptible north in the Pripet Mar:li_^ 
and south in Galicia. Victory in the neighborhood of 
Czernowitz had similar importance. Elements of surprise 
largely entered into news of this advance. Vienna spoke of 
incredible stores of ammunition which the enemy had at 
his disposal, and of unceasing attacks in solid formation. 
Russian resourcefulness apparently had been equal to the 



gathering of vast reserves without their being discovered. 
It was plain that, if the seriousness of the menace had been 
recognized at Vienna, there would have been no diversion 
of troops to the Italian frontier. The new Russian com- 
mander's strategic plan seemed to have absolutely deceived 
the Austrians. Whatever might be the furthest reach of 
the advance, the harvest of prisoners was bound to mount 

Lutsk and Dubno not only offered the military facilities 
which such places always give, but in addition were selected 
strongholds, forming an integral part of the old Russian 
defensive organization. Their capture brought the Russian 
strength on this part of the front back to what it was at 
the outset of the war, for it reintegrated the fortified 
triangle. This first chapter of the offensive exceeded in re- 
sults all that the Germans had to show for nearly four 
months at Verdun, or that the Austrians could boast for 
their three weeks' offensive in northern Italy. Obtained by 
tactics of suddenness, the successes were won without any 
expenditure comparable to that which a slower method 
would have involved. The ' fortresses fell without a siege, 
and with them was taken a huge aggregation of Austrian 
troops. The number of prisoners reported had a parallel 
only in the earlier stages of the war/ 

Russia's defensive problems, however, were north of the 
Pripet Marshes, not south of them. A victory against Hin- 
denburg would strengthen her defense more than any other 
success. Her lower successes were brilliant but secondary. 
Their chief importance lay in their relation to further plans 
for which they formed the preliminary. By June 13 heavy 
fighting was in progress over virtually the entire Eastern 
front from the Gulf of Riga to the Bukowina, a distance of 
between 600 and 700 miles. From Riga to the Jasiolda 
River, northwest of the Pripet Marsh region, the Germans 
had taken the offensive probably in an effort to divert 
Russian attention. On all sectors the Russians successfully 
withstood the onslaughts; they even gained ground north 
of the Tirul Marsh, southwest of Riga. Altho the Austrians 
vigorously counter-attacked, the only place where the Rus- 
sians were forced to give ground was near Robulintze, north 





of Buczacz, in Galicia, where the Austrians had been re- 
inforced by German troops. The total of men made prisoners 
by the Russians since their offensive began had now grown 
to more than 114,000. 

Russia's restoration to a state of military efficiency, as 
shown by these events, was in no small degree due to the 
opening of her new port on the Arctic Ocean and the build- 
ing of the Murman railway which connected that port with 
Petrograd. In less than a year Russia had laid and set in 
operation four-fifths of this line, which put her out of 
all danger from future isolation by the Teutonic powers. 
By late spring in 1916 the last 150 miles were completed, 
so that Russia thenceforth became accessible from the ocean 
at all times of the year. Endless and seemingly bottom- 
less bogs were crossed; piles and pile-drivers more than once 
disappeared in bogs; miles of bald rock were levelled and 
smoothed out by use of dynamite. Thirty thousand men 
worked to carry out the project. The line was a broad gage, 
single track route, fairly free from heavy grades and sharp 
curves. Forests supplied wood for fuel, wood being the 
customary railway fuel in Russia. 

General von Linsingen, in battles from June 15th to the 
18th, not only checked the Russian forward movement on 
his front, but at some places forced a retrograde movement 
countering on the wing. He advanced on the line between 
Vladimir- Volynski and Lutsk from Boronzowicz to Cho- 
linowka. The turning point was near Novomosor. In this 
movement he took 3,500 Russian prisoners. Brusiloff at the 
same time was increasing his pressure on the center of the 
middle sector, but this movement was apparently affected 
by the counter-pressure against the Russian line in. the 
northerly part of Volhynia. Brusiloff was recognized as 
the first Russian strategist who had proved himself worthy 
of the mettle of the German strategists matched against 
him. By June 21 it was seen that the Germans and Aus- 
trians in Volhynia were vigorously on the offensive and 
seemingly had stopt for the time being the Russian drive 
westward. Along the Stokhod River, west of the Styr, in 
the region of Sokul, and still farther west around Mylsk, 
sanguinary engagements were in progress. In some of 

v. vii 15 217 


these encounters the Germans and Austrians were repulsed, 
but on both sides of the T.urla River and southward from 
Sviniauki and beyond the Russians were driven farther 
back, and northeast of Lutsk their attempts to dispute Ger- 
man successes were without result. On the Stripa in Galicia 
the Russians took portions of trenches near Gaivironka and 
farther south in Bukowina drove their forces southward .and 
captured Radautz, thirty miles below Czernowitz, where 
they took more officers, men, and guns. North of the 
Pripet Marshes, in the region of Riga, the Germans opened 
a rather general offensive, heavily bombarding Russian posi- 
tions, or making violent infantry-attacks against .them. The 
Germans vigorously bombarded the Ikskull bridge-head and 
drove their infantry against Russian positions around 
Dvinsk, near Dubatowka, south of Krevo and on the Oginski 

Fierce fighting, with the Germans generally aggressors, 
was now in progress along the Stokhod and Styr rivers and 
in the r-egion between Lutsk and Vladimir Volynski. Rus- 
sians who had crossed the Styr and reached Gruziatyn, west 
of Kolki, entered that town and captured eleven officers, 
400 men, and six machine-guns. The town changed hands 
several times, but under a concentrated German artillery-fire 
the Russians finally were driven back with the loss of 1,000 
men made prisoners. Along the Stokhod, near Bajmiesto, 
the Germans delivered a heavy attack, which resolved itself 
later into hand-to-hand fighting, in which the Russians, ac- 
cording to Petrograd, forced the Germans to flee. Near 
Kiselin another heavy onslaught was checked by the Russians 
and the Germans put to flight. Near Lokatchi, southeast of 
Vladimir- Volynski, Vienna reported the capture of 1,300 
Russians. North, west and northwest of Lutsk vicious en- 
counters ensued. Across the frontier in Galicia a stalemate 
in the region of Buczacz persisted. In Bukowina the Rus- 
sians continued to drive the Austrians west and southwest. 
Petr-ograd announced that the prisoners taken by the Rus- 
sians in Volhynia and Galicia up to June 15 aggregated 

Radautz, in the southern Bukowina, eleven miles southwest 
of the Sereth, fell to the Russians on June 22. Radautz lies 



a little more than nine miles west of the Roumanian fron- 
tier. Its capture put the Russians in possession of thirty 
miles, or one-half of Roumanians western border, thus isolat- 
ing the northwestern part of that country from the Central 
Powers. The fall of Radautz further placed the extreme 
left wing of Brusiloff's invading armies in full control of 
the railway running vertically through the Bukowina, from 
Zalesczyki to Radautz, and threatened the southern prolonga- 
tion of this line running through Suczawa into the interior 


of Roumania. Thus the Russian commander had now, in 
the line from Tarnopol in northwestern Galicia down to 
Radautz, an excellent base-railway for the continuation of 
his offensive. 

Moreover, the new advance into southern Bukowina had 
dealt a blow to the commercial relations recently established 
between Roumania and the Central Powers by the con- 
clusion of a trade-agreement under which the three powers 
were to export to one another surplus quantities of food- 
stuffs. Much of the grain shipped from Roumania to Aus- 



tria and Germany under this compact went via the Buch- 
arest-Budapest-Vienna-Berlin railway. The Russian drive in 
the south assumed a new aspect in that it threatened a 
tightening of the food-blockade of the Teutonic countries. 
If pushed further to the south on the Danube, on which 
river the bulk of the commercial exchange was carried on, 
the new trade-pact would be reduced to abrogation. Rou- 
mania would be isolated and virtually blockaded from the 
north, northwest, and east, while the Teuton-Bulgarian 
Macedonia army would be placed between the Russians and 
the Franco-British forces. 

The fall of Radautz compelled the Austro-Hungarian 
troops in southern Bukowina to retreat before the Russians 
to the foothills of the Carpathians. From Radautz a rail- 
way line runs due west as far as Frasin. When the Aus- 
trians reached that point in a mountainous region, they would 
be practically cut off from rail communication and would 
have to work their way through hills to the northern lines 
which in turn were menaced by the Russians driving toward 
Kolomea. The ferocity of the fighting in Volhynia was in- 
dicated by a sentence in the Russian official report to the 
effect that "no quarter was given, as the enemy used ex- 
plosive bullets." The scene of this particular occurrence 
was in the region of Voronchin, east of the Stokhod. 

.Meanwhile Pfanzer's demoralized Austrian army was 
preparing to abandon all southern Bukowina to the Rus- 
sians, and the Russians were throwing large forces across 
the Sereth, aiming to cut off the Austrians. The Russian 
advance on the Kovel sector had now been checked by heavy 
Austro-German counter-attacks, but the Russians were over- 
running the Bukowina and making a dash for the Car- 
pathian passes as they had done eighteen months before, 
when they reached Kirlibaba Pass that overlooked Austrian 
Transylvania. The Russians had already taken possession 
of two railways leading from Roumania into Bukowina. By 
forced marches along the Roumanian frontier the Russians 
reached the extreme south of the Bukowina by June 24, and 
at Kuty on the north and Gurahumora on the south ap- 
proached the thickly forested spurs of the Carpathians where 
a good road, roughly about 100 miles long, runs through 



narrow valleys and gorges by way of Kimpolung and Dorna 
Wastra to Bistritz, Hungary, offering Russian guerrillas an 
excellent opening into the country. The Russians in their 
pursuit of the Austrians thus far had crossed four rivers 
the Dniester, Pruth, Sereth and Suczava. Two days sufficed 
to cover the fifteen miles between the Sereth and the 
Suczava. The objective had been Radautz, where the Aus- 
trians were expected to offer a stubborn resistance, owing 
to the fact that the river forms a natural defensive line to 
the north and northwest of the town, but they failed to 
make any serious stand. Radautz is only five miles south- 
west of the important railway junction of Hadikfalva, close 
to the Roumanian frontier, which also was in Russian hands. 

Lemberg was now imperilled. Once it was recovered, the 
Russians would be in a position to repeat their offensive of 
1914 against the Carpathian passes. The Austrians were far 
less strong than they were sixteen months before, and be- 
sides they now had to guard Serbia and oppose Italy, while 
Germany had fewer troops to send them in an emergency. 
The chain of Teuton dependencies could be cut at Budapest 
as well as at Sofia or Constantinople. The Russians were 
convinced of Austrian exhaustion and that they could force 
the fight into Hungary, and carry the warfare into Bul- 
garia as well. With the occupation of Czernowitz the Rus- 
sians had completely severed connections between the 
Teutonic northern and southern armies. This stroke had 
enabled the Russians to establish direct connections from 
the frontier to Sniatyn by the shortest and most convenient 
route which greatly facilitated Russian progress toward 
Kolomea, and, by obviating further the necessity of a turn- 
ing movement, allowed the Russian southern forces to ad- 
vance solidly from the Czernowitz region westward. 

It was not true, as often stated, that the fall of Czerno- 
witz was more important in its diplomatic implications than 
in its military results. Czernowitz had changed hands be- 
fore and yet Roumania had not taken action. Russia, more 
than a year before, had stood at the gateways of the Car- 
pathians, and Roumania still held off. Complete Austrian 
disaster alone could have forced Roumania from her posi- 
tion of obstinate neutrality. The fall of Czernowitz and the 



forcing of The Pruth were important military events. The 
advance of Russian forces from Czernowitz northward 
toward Kolomea and Stanislau was a threat against the 
rear of the German army under Bothmer, whose obstinate 
stand on the Strypa had been one of the conspicuous in- 
cidents of the campaign. It was only the Germans who 
could make any head against Brusiloff in the south under 
Bothmer, in the north under Linsingen. 

Each time a change was made in the possession of Czerno- 
witz, the question raised was: What of Roumania now? 
When the Russians first took Czernowitz in the Autumn 
of 1914, all the world expected Roumania to declare her ad- 
hesion to the Allies. It seemed the most natural thing for 
her to do, whether considered politically or morally. Russia 
would have been willing, no doubt, to give Roumania the 
conquered province of the Bukowina, but Roumania re- 
mained neutral. It was well for her that she did so, for 
the Austrians eventually recovered the Bukowina, and the 
political odds in that part of Europe were suddenly, but 
not permanently, altered. During the German Balkan 
campaign, which engulfed the neutrality of Bulgaria, Rou- 
mania a second time was in a position to make a handsome 
bargain, for the Allies would have promised her almost any- 
thing in reason for her accession to their cause, as a counter- 
weight to Bulgaria, which had gone the other way, but, 
again, Roumanians knew what their own interests were, and 
so kept a tight hold on their neutrality, and went on trading 
at great profit with belligerents, and especially with the 

Roumania accordingly grew rich, while her relative 
strength steadily mounted. She had the largest army in 
the whole Balkan peninsula, more efficient troops than Bul- 
garia and Greece combined, and held the balance of power in 
that theater of war. With the man-power of the great 
belligerents diminishing constantly, her importance increased, 
until it seemed able in itself to determine the fate of the 
peninsula. Apparently she could, either herself or in co- 
operation with Russia, close to the Germans the corridor 
running through Serbia and Bulgaria to Turkey, and so 
could close again the iron ring around the Central Powers 



and cast Turkey out of the fighting world, all by one stroke. 
But Koumania, with all this apparent good fortune, found 
herself in a dilemma. She knew she had to come into the 
war some time, or she would lose her position and influence 
in the Balkan peninsula. To take part with the Allies, 
however, was to stop the stream of German gold pouring in 
for her products, whereas to go the other way was to part 
with her neutrality prematurely, and in addition make per- 
haps a wrong guess. 


After these successes Brusiloff was asked to explain why 
he had achieved such results. He declared that they were 
not .the product of chance, or of Austrian weakness, but 
represented the application of all the lessons learned in two 
years of bitter warfare against the Germans. Russia, in 1914, 
lacked the preparation which the Germans had been making 
for forty years. Personally, he had not been discouraged, 
even in the summer of 1915, for he was convinced that, 
given munitions, the Russians could do again exactly what they 
had just been doing in June. The main element of his suc- 



cess, he said, was due to the absolute coordination of all the 
armies involved. On the entire front the Russian attacks 
began at the same hour, so that it was impossible for the 
Germans to shift troops from one quarter to another. The 
most important fighting was in the sector of Rovno, where 
their greatest advances were made. Could the Russians take 
Kovel, there was reason to believe the whole eastern front 
would be obliged to fall back. Asked how he was able to 
take so many prisoners, Brusiloff replied that while modern 
trenches, with their deep tunnels and maze of communications, 
were difficult to destroy, they became a menace to their own 
defenders once their position was taken in rear or flank, for 
it was impossible to escape from them quickly. Russians in 
this offensive, for the first time, had sufficient ammunition 
to provide a curtain of fire that could prevent the enemy 
from retiring save through a scathing zone of shrapnel-fire, 
all of which made surrender imperative. 

By June 21 the Russians had crossed the Sereth south- 
west of Czernowitz, and occupied Zadova, Stroginetz, and 
Gilboka. The Austrians in this region, with their army cut 
in two, were declared by Petrograd to be in a disorderly re- 
treat, the Russians pursuing them toward the Carpathians. 
But uncertainty rose as to the situation between the Pripet 
River and the Galician frontier. Divergent reports came 
from Russian and German War Offices. Both claimed suc- 
cesses. Northeast of Kiselin, which lies between Lutsk and 
Vladimir- Volynski, Petrograd said an Austrian attack, sup- 
ported by Germans, had been repulsed, while Berlin asserted 
that the Teutonic Allies were victorious in fighting their 
way forward against the Russians. The Russians claimed a 
defeat of the Teutonic Allies southeast of Lakatchi, while 
Berlin declared that, between the Kovel-Lutsk railroad and 
the Turia River the Teutons had broken down the Russian 
resistance or repulsed their attacks. In Galicia, Austrians 
and Germans were resisting Russian attempts against Lem- 
berg. Six German divisions (120,000 men) had been hurried 
eastward. Two German divisions were en route for the 
Lutsk-Kovel front where the Austrians, supported by Ger- 
mans, were counter-attacking with great vigor on this north- 
ern flank of Brusiloff 's armies. Four German divisions were 



being rushed into action on the thirty-mile front from 
Brody southward to a point east of Przemysl, where the 
Russians had opened a heavy artillery-attack, evidently in 
preparation for a smash toward Lemberg. 

During the last ten days of June fierce fighting took 
place between the Styr and the Stokhod, neither side being 
able to gain any decided advantage. Then it was that 
Brusiloff brought a fresh army into the field north of the 
Sarny-Kovel railway with the intention of moving across the 
lower Stokhod and attacking Kovel from the north. This 
army was under command of Lesh, who began to develop his 
attack on July 4, and, after fighting a successful battle 
which gave him possession of the railway-station of 
Manievitchi, succeeded in carrying German positions cover- 
ing the passage over the Stokhod, and in securing that river 
on the right bank down to its junction with the Pripet. 
During the course of his advance he captured 12,000 
prisoners arid took 45 German guns with a large quantity 
of war-material. Meanwhile, Kaledine had been supporting 
Lesh's attack with a cooperative movement south of the rail- 
way west of Chartoriisk and Kolki. This was successful 
in forcing the Germans back behind the upper Stokhod, 
which the Russians crossed at several places after recaptur- 
ing the bridge-head at Svidniki. Between them, Kaledine 
and Lesh were said to have captured during this drive more 
than 650 German officers and 22,000 men, with 50 guns and 
other war-booty. Linsingen rallied his beaten army on the 
left bank of the Stokhod, and put up a stubborn resistance 
on this last line of defense east of Kovel. 

The sudden first success of this Russian attack had so 
startled many persons in sympathy with the Allied cause as 
to impair their sense of proportion and relative values. Some 
saw the rapid disintegration of the entire Austrian army; 
others saw an immediate capture of Lemberg; one went so 
far as to predict for the Germans a retirement from Belgium 
and France. Nothing, however, had happened on the Rus- 
sian front to give reasonable ground for belief that any one 
of these things was pending. The Russian offensive by the 
end of June had not made progress far enough to stamp 
it either as a success or a failure. A military movement is 


successful only when it achieves the object for which it was 
undertaken. We can only speculate as to the Russian 
offensive having had its genesis in the influence that its 
success would have on Roumania ; or having aimed at relieving 
pressure on Italy, or on Verdun, or having had, for its 
express purpose the beating of the Austrian army and .so 
removing protection from the German flank, and forcing 
the German line to retire. If the capture of Czernowitz had 
induced Roumania to take a step which would line her up 
squarely with the Allies, the Russian movement would have 
been an unqualified success, even tho nothing further had 
been obtained. If the object had been to relieve the Tren- 
tino situation, it was already a success, but if it had been 
undertaken with the object of destroying the Austrian 
power, the decision was still in the balance. 

It had been part of the history of this war that, whenever 
Austrians and Russians met, tlie Czar's troops were invariably 
the victors. But there was a great difference between con- 
ditions as they were in June, 1916, and as they were when 
Austria called on Germany for help in the Spring of 1915, 
on the occasion of the Russian pressure in the Carpathians. 
Then Germany was not herself seriously engaged on any 
other front. She had men to spare and surplus ammunition. 
Now the help that Germany could give seemed comparatively 
small. On the Russian line she had had all she could do to 
hold the Russians in their trenches north of Poliesse. She 
had been able to send aid as far south as Kovel, but no 
further. Austria, in addition, was herself in a bad way 
for men. Of all the belligerents she was the most nearly ex- 
hausted. The disasters that followed her footsteps in the 
early days of the Russian successes of 1914 had placed a 
serious drain on her resources, while the latest Russian success 
had taken from her almost a half million men that she 
could not replace. 

It was plain that the situation in the Galician and Vol- 
hynian regions was approaching a crisis which might involve 
the safety of the whole front of the Central Powers from 
Riga to Roumania. When the attack began, the eastern 
front followed the Dwina River from the outskirts of th.e 
city of Riga to the Dvinsk, approximately an east and west 



front; then it turned sharply south through Pinsk, which 
the Germans held, through the Pripet Marshes, -along the 
Styr, east of Lutsk and Dubno, which were Austrian, along 
the Sereth, just west of Tarnapol, which was Russian, to 

he Dniester, and thence to the Pruth, just west of the 

Roumanian frontier. 

From the Gulf of Riga to the Pripet Marshes and to the 
southern border of this swamp, the line had been long un- 
disturbed, but a little south of the marshes there began a 
wide, deep curve which the Russians had now driven west- 
ward. This curve was almost a semicircle drawn about 
Dubno, with a radius of perhaps thirty-five miles, and rep- 
resented the extreme penetration of the Austrian front. 
Going south there was a second semicircle of perhaps 
twenty-five miles' radius, from the point where the Dniester 
reaches the Russian frontier. The northern curve extended 
toward Kovel and Vladimir-Volynski, the southern ex- 
tended southwest of Czernowitz and approached Kolomea. 
The two were the wedges the Russians had driven into the 
Austrian lines, after breaking the trench-front. War in 
these sectors thus had become a war of movement as con- 
trasted with trench-operations. The two circles represented 
breaks in the dike which the Central Powers had erected 
against the Slavonic flood. Russian waters were pouring 
through them and extending not only westward, but tending 
to swirl round the ends of the dike. Exactly what happens 
when there is a break in a Mississippi levee was taking place 
along the Eastern Front. In putting up a defense, the 
Germans and Austrians had tried to build a temporary dike 
behind these waters and to circumscribe the area of inunda- 
tion. Great concentrations of troops had taken place behind 
the line that was broken, and in front of Kovel and Vladimir- 
Volynski, while Austria made a new stand between the 
Dniester and the Pruth west of Czernowitz. 

The Germans were still bringing up reinforcements from 
the French front and Austrians from the Italian front. 
Their number was said to be about 200,000, but since the 
defense of the Bukowina had been practically abandoned, 
the bulk of these reinforcements were evidently to be con- 
centrated against the armies of Kaledine and Sakaroff on 



the northern half of Brusiloff's front. Prisoners from Ger- 
man regiments, brought over from Verdun, declared the 
violence of the Russian fire reminded them of the French 
fire at Verdun. The dispatch of troops to the Kovel sector 
had not, however, involved a relaxation of the German 
offensive against the French fortress. The Germans were 
merely shuffling their cards; they were maintaining the 
fighting energy of their troops by a change of service, not 
by a cessation of work. Apparently regiments badly bat- 
tered at Verdun had been replenished and then sent to the 
danger zone on the Russian front, their places at Verdun 
being taken by regiments that had not yet gone through a 
terrible ordeal. Since the forcing of the Pruth nothing 
had checked the Russians. The center and right of 
Pflanzer's army had become practically non-existent as a 
fighting force. There remained his left, forced by the 
Russian capture of Kuty to retreat along narrow mountain- 
roads up the valley of the Black Tcheremosh. The Austrians 
were now threatened with a fresh invasion of Hungary from 
the east instead of from the north. The result would have 
been an immense lengthening of the German line, if the 
Germans expected to give support to the Austrians. Russia, 
with new reserves of the same quality as her first troops, 
could afford to lengthen her line, but her Teutonic enemies 
could not afford to lengthen theirs. 

After the elimination of Pflanzer's army in the Bukowina, 
Brusiloff's forces were directed upon Kolomea, the key to 
the defense of Lemberg. The occupation *of Kimpolung 
and Kuty opened the way. The Teutonic forces appeared 
to have been able to stop to some extent the breaching of 
their front in the Kovel region, where a large force of Ger- 
man troops had stiffened the Austrian line. It was evident 
that preparations were being made for a desperate stand at 
Brody, on the southern wing of that position. Nevertheless, 
in the face of stiff counter-attacks, the Russians by June 
26 were able to push the wedge in the direction of Vladimir- 
Volynski to a point which threatened that town and en- 
dangered Brody, the gateway to Lemberg. According to a 
military expert, the Germans had taken full charge in this 


region and had filled up the ranks of Archduke Ferdinand's ' 
broken army. 

By June 28 the- Germans in Volhynia had captured the 
village of Liniewka, west of Sokul, and Russian positions 
south of that point. The announcement indicated an im- 
portant German success, but gave no indication of the fight- 
ing which had been of the hardest kind yet seen on this 
front. It lasted for three days and three nights. Tens of 
thousands of hundredweights of lead and iron had been 
thrown; hundreds of wounded had dragged themselves 
toilsomely to field-hospitals or been carried there, and many 
had closed their eyes forever. Slow progress and hard fight- 
ing occurred in swamps with an overwhelming superiority of 
the Russians in numbers. In one night they put into action 
nearly two entire divisions against a couple of German 
regiments. In an attack over a front of twenty-five miles, 
extending eastward from Kolomea, in Galicia, the Austrians 
were compelled to retire on a part of the front in the re- 
gion of Kolomea and southward. They valiantly attempted 
to hold back the oncoming Russians, but were compelled to 
give way before superior forces. In this fighting, and also 
in battles near Kuty, in the Bukowina, the Austrians suf- 
fered heavy casualties. In addition 221 officers and 10,285 
men were made prisoners, and heavy guns, machine-guns 
and stores were lost. On June 27, an official statement 
issued by the Russian War Office placed the number of 
prisoners captured by Brusiloff's army between June 4 and 
June 23 at 198,972 officers and men. The number of heavy 
guns, machine-guns and bomb-throwers taken was said to 
be more than 1,000. 

The main difference between Russia's present drive against 
Austria and the Austro-German drive of 1915, which com- 
pelled Russia to yield so much of her territory, lay in the 
fact that the Russians in 1916 broke through the Austrian 
lines, while, in the Russian retreat in 1915, the Russian 
lines retired intact. This difference was considered of much 
importance by many military critics. The capture of 
Czernowitz at this time no doubt had a great moral effect 
in Roumania, but that town changed hands too often to give 
its transfer very decisive significance. The success of the 



Russian drive was credited to artillery, and especially to a 
new shell with which the Russians were plentifully supplied. 
Some reports said this shell was made in Japan and was 
charged with a powerful new explosive. In describing 
these battles a writer in Hungary 3 said : 

"The Russian attacks are preceded by unexampled artillery bom- 
bardment of our positions. After the first lines had been totally 
destroyed by the Russian shells and then abandoned, the Russians 
were able, owing to the great number of their guns, to pour a cur- 
tain of fire behind the evacuated trenches, and thus cut off all re- 
treat. These tactics were followed by the Russians everywhere. The 
progress of the Russians was rapid almost beyond belief, the destruc- 
tion and capture of men coming like a lightning-stroke, leaving the 
staff-officers, whose station is from five to fifteen miles behind the 
firing-line, with no means of repairing the initial mischief, and so 
they simply fled." 

On July 1 came an announcement that the Russians had 
captured Kolomea. The importance of Kolomea was obvious. 
An army which held it not only had cleared the Bukowina 
of Austrians, but had planted on the flank of the Austro- 
Germans a force which might make a rearrangement of their 
line inevitable. By July 5 the Russians had definitely as- 
sumed the offensive over another considerable part of their 
thousand-mile European front. Brusiloff's push continued 
to make steady progress and the left wing of the main 
front that is, excluding the Bukowina and Transylvania 
was well west of the meridian marking the forward points 
on the right wing. The Germans still maintained with con- 
centrated fury their attempts to cut into Brusiloff's position 
between the Stokhod and Styr. His new line of advance 
reached a point more than half-way to Sokul. The fighting 
over all the Russian front indicated that the Germans were 
occupied with attempts to meet Russia's strategic plan, and 
had no plan of their own in operation anywhere. In other 
words Russia had become for the first time master of the 

The greatest battle of the series on the Russian front was 
still expected to occur in the so-called Lutsk salient where 

* In the Az Vjsag (Budapest). 



the key to the whole situation was the Kovel junction. 
Gigantic efforts were made by the Germans to safeguard 
this vital point; they massed every available unit there to 
counter the Russian thrust. The Russians late in June had 
been within twenty-one miles of the junction, but for ten 
days had. been held back. The Germans had made efforts to 
check an indirect Russian approach to Kovel by the southern 
flank, where the issues hung in the balance at Lokatchi, the 
apex of the whole salient. All Bukowina was now in Rus- 
sian hands. In three weeks Lechitzky had broken through 
positions fortified as the French front was; had taken over 
40,000 prisoners and added 4,000 square miles to the terri- 
tory controlled by Russia. 

Thus had closed the first stage of what was one of the 
most rapid and spectacular advances in the war. In three 
weeks a whole province had been reconquered; Lutsk and 
Dubno retaken. The advance was to within twenty-five 
miles of Kovel, and within ten of Brody; the prisoners cap- 
tured numbered 4,031 officers and 194,041 of other ranks; 
219 guns and 644 machine-guns, besides vast quantities of 
war material. On three vital places behind the enemy front 
toward Kovel, Lemberg, and Stanislau, the Austrian line 
had been pierced and shattered. Over wide stretches the 
campaign had been translated from the rigidity of trench- 
warfare to something like freedom of maneuver. For the 
first time, as regards artillery and munitions, they were on 
terms of something like equality with their foe. Brusiloff 
made brilliant use of newly acquired advantages, and con- 
ducted vast operations with the skill of a master. Only the 
first step had been taken, however, the movement still far 
from having won a strategic decision ; but reverses, vast and 
irreparable, had come to the waning man-power of Austria. 4 

4 Principal Sources : The Literary Diciest, The Evening Sun, The Evening 
Post, The Times, the "Military Expert" of The Times, The Outlook, The 
Journal of Commerce, New York; The Times (London) ; The World, The Sun, 
New York ; The London Times' "History of the War," "Nelson's History of 
the War" by John Buchan, The Fortnightly Review (London), The Inde- 
pendent (New York). 



Officers 2,384 

Men 107,225 

Guns 147 

Machine Guns 459 



Officers 1,967 

Men 87,248 

Guns 76 

Machine Guns 232 


Officers 1,267 

Men 55,794 

Guns 55 

Machine Guns 211 



Officers 2,139 

Men 100,578 

Guns 127 

Machine Guns 424 





June 4-Aug. 12, 1916 
Officers 7,757 

Men 350,845 

Guns 403 

Machine Guns 1,326 
Bomb Throwers 338 
Caissons 292 

Scale of Miles 
\ 9 , 'P g. *, P '! 








July 6, 1916 January 1, 1917 

SUCH had been the progress of the Russians that it was 
easy to credit the report that both Hindenburg and 
Mackensen in person had arrived on the Eastern Front in 
order to stem the tide. That the Teutons were entirely on 
the defensive was apparent from the lack of any concerted 
counter-attacks, such attacks as had been made being purely 
local. Meanwhile, the severance of communications between 
Bothmer's army and Hungary through the Kirlibaba Pass 
increased the dangerous position in which that general found 
himself, besides adding to the menace to Lemberg, while the 
approach of the Russians to within fifteen miles of Kovel 
tended to strengthen the line and exert pressure at another 
vital point. Plainly, if the Germans were to relieve the 
situation by a heavy blow, the time had come, for Bothmer's 
position had become perilous. 

Nearly half a million Austrians and Germans, it was said 
optimistically in Petrograd, had been put out of commission 
since Brusiloff began his advance. The grand total of 
prisoners to July 6 was in round numbers 235,000, of whom 
4,500 were officers. Estimates by military experts placed the 
dead and wounded at from 200,000 to 220,000. Austrians 
predominated overwhelmingly among the prisoners; but 
among the dead and wounded a fairly large percentage were 
Germans. It was figured that 250 guns of various sizes and 
upward of 700 machine-guns had been taken and in addi- 
tion vast quantities of munitions, suppl'es and transports. 
Letchitzky's advance west of Kolomea, where he cut the rail- 
road into Hungary at Mikuliczyn, was emphasized as a new 
blow to the Austrian defense of East Galicia. Northwest 
of Kolomea his troops on July 6 were within ten miles of 

v. vii 16 233 


Nadworna, well to the rear of the Austrian right flank, 
facing Tarnopol, between the Stripa and Zlota Lipa. 

By July 10 the Russian armies had crossed the Stokhod 
River in operations against Kovel, and had captured several 
villages along the line of the Kovel-Sarny railroad. 
Despatches from Petrograd said the Stokhod had been 
crossed at Ugil, which lies a few miles south of the railroad, 
but an Austrian official statement made mention of fighting 
at Stobychwa, lying west of the Stokhod, which indicated 
that the Russians had crossed the river about thirty miles 
northeast of Kovel. The Russian advance was most promis- 
ing at two points, near Kovel and in lower Galicia. In the 
former territory it had gone forward fourteen miles in two 
days, and crossed the Stokhod, where it was believed that 
the Germans would offer a most determined defense. It 
became obvious that if the rest of the Stokhod River line 
were abandoned, it would hardly be possible for the Teutons 
to hold Kovel. Mackensen and Hindenburg, if they were 
really at Kovel, had now to play their trump cards or re- 
form their whole line for a long distance. 

The Russians in seven weeks had regained upward of 
15,000 square miles or about twice as much territory as 
the Germans held in France and four-fifths of the area of 
all German conquests in the west. Berlin announced that 
the Russians killed had been officially estimated at 262,000, 
which would mean a total loss of at least a million. Even 
if this price had been paid, not even the German authorities 
could question the ability of Russia to pay it. 

Toward the middle of July Linsingen made a sudden 
effort to regain Lutsk and push back Kaledine's left wing 
to the upper Styr. Saharoff, in command of the Russian 
forces on the southern face of the Lutsk salient, turned on 
the Austro-German army with superior numbers, and not 
only checked the German movement eastward, but inflicted 
a severe defeat east and southeast of Swiniuky. German 
foresight, which had seldom been at fault during the war, 
was turned to good account when the Sokal-Kovel railway 
extension was constructed, for by this line, and by the one 
running from Lemberg to Stojanow, Linsingen was now able 
to bring reinforcements to any point threatened by the 



Russian commander. The Germans were massing enormous 
forces before Kovel, bringing up every available reserve in 
the hope of stalling the Russian mowing-machine. - A state of 
comparative calm was announced in Petrograd as a prelude 
to a resumption of heavy and important fighting. Should 
the fall of Kovel occur, it would be a staggering blow. Lem- 
berg would then be menaced more than ever, the road to the 
great fortress of Brest-Litovsk would be opened and the 
rear of the entire Pinsk region threatened. All this would 
make necessary a German withdrawal. 

The battle for Kovel was marked by extreme violence, 
Brusiloff having brought up forces from the Stokhod to the 
Lipa. Southwest of Lutsk and at the bend of the Stokhod 
River, north of Sokul, Teutonic forces on the offensive 
against the Russians meanwhile made gains. The menace, 
with Lemberg as the objective, had, however, assumed sub- 
stantial proportions. The Russians had crossed the Styr 
by July 21 and carried their southward advance to the 
town of Berestechk, two and a half miles from the Galician 
border. Berestechk was of strategical importance to the 
Russians. Twenty miles west lies Stojanow, the terminus 
of a railway running directly to Lemberg. At that point 
the Russians would be in a position to drive toward the 
Galician capital from two directions, as soon as they reached 
the Stojanow-Lemberg railway. At the same time a Russian 
offensive was in progress against Hindenburg's lines on the 
Dwina, around Friedrichstadt, against positions west of 
Vilna and German counter-attacks northeast of Kovel had 
been repulsed. Russian troops dominated both banks of the 
Lipa from the Styr to near Mirkow, and in some parts of 
the line had thrust forward eight or ten miles beyond the 

This Russian advance beyond the Lipa, by which crossings 
of the Styr north of Werben were effected, and the pushing 
of the Russian line south to the heights above Berestechk, 
practically surrounded the bend in the Styr, so that no line 
of retreat was left open to the Austrians who occupied it. 
As the Russian pressure on the circle increased, and the 
Russian lines were drawn in, the Austrians occupying the 
salient had nothing to do but surrender. It was in this 



corner that most of the 13,000 prisoners were captured. 
The heights in front of Berestechk had not been a sufficiently 
strong position from which to hold back the Russians who 
were among the best fighters in Europe when capably led 
and had now for weeks seen nothing but victory. Altho 
suffering great losses they had seen one position . after another 
fall into their hands, and knew they were going ahead. Not 
only that, but they saw Austrian and German prisoners 
passing through their lines to the rear by thousands, which 
created in their ranks an elan that enabled their officers to 
drive them anywhere. 

In the section south of the Dniester the Russians were 
also moving. A great battle for the approaches to the pass 
through the Carpathians at Jablonitza had been in progress 
for several days, and the War Office in Vienna announced 
that the Austrians had to retreat to the crests of the moun- 
tains. Reports from Petrograd suggested that Austria 
might now make a separate peace, altho there was no active 
evidence of any such intention except Austria's plight. 
After the war there was evidence enough that Austria 
even then was ready to quit war. She had met with 
another great defeat, but as yet it was less considerable 
than her breakdown in August and September, 1914. 
Nevertheless, her defeat was of the first magnitude. Coinci- 
dent with it came an abandonment of her Italian drive from 
Trent toward Verona, and Vicenza, her recall of troops from 
the Balkans, and the entry of Roumania into the war with 
the Entente Allies. At this time the terms which the 
Entente would have been likely to make with Austria were, 
for Russia, possession of Galicia and the Bukowina, and the 
cession of Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with the south- 
ern end of Dalmatia, to Serbia. Italy would have demanded 
Trieste, the Trentino, the islands of the Dalmatian coast 
and probably most of Dalmatia, and that Austria should 
abandon all claim upon Albania. In sum, Austria would 
have lost at the least some 60,000 square miles of territory 
with a population of about 12,000,000, or, roughly speaking, 
a quarter of her area and a quarter of her population. With 
slight exceptions this population is wholly Slav Pole and 
Ruthenian in the east, Serb in the south, and Slovene 



around Trieste. The Slavs numbered a little more than 
half the population of the whole Austro-Hungarian empire. 
Peace on these terms would have removed about half the 
Slavs; it would have left only the Czechs of Bohemia as a 
considerable Slav block in Austria. 

An Austrian surrender would, in effect, have changed the 
whole face of the eastern issues. A century of rivalry be- 
tween Romanoff and Hapsburg would have ended in a de- 
cisive victory for the former. Seated at Constantinople, 


politically supreme in Sofia and Belgrade, Russia would 
effectually have barred the road of the Austrian and the 
German to the East. Asia Minor would conceivably have 
remained an occasion for rivalry between Russia, Italy, 
France, and Great Britain, but it would have been beyond 
the grasp of Viennese and Berlin statesmen. Had Austria 
made peace before Roumania entered the war, then Rou- 
mania would not have acquired Transylvania or Bukowina; 



the dream of a Greater Roumania would have vanished, and 
this disappointment of Roumanian patriots would have been 
difficult to deal with. Perhaps the Petrograd rumor 
originally was intended only to influence Roumania and 
bring in that eastern Latin State, which had so much to 
gain from picking Hapsburg bones. Once more it became 
necessary, however, to caution observers to put small reliance 
on rumors of actual Austrian collapse. Austria was the 
weakest of the great states at war, she had suffered most 
in losses except Russia, and she had no such resources left 
in men as Russia had. She had a huge Slav population, 
which was, in part at least, frankly disloyal; but her 
financial situation, bad at the outbreak of the war, was 
probably well-nigh hopeless now. That Austria was beaten 
to the point of making a separate peace seemed, however, un- 
likely, because she was in no position to break with Germany 
at least, not yet. 

The Austro-German defenders of positions before the 
lower Stokhod had now withdrawn behind the river which 
had proved Brusiloff's greatest obstacle to a successful ad- 
vance on Kovel. Less than twenty miles away the Rus- 
sian right wing was plunging forward until it seemed as 
if a few more such plunges would make Vladimir- Volynski, 
Kovel, and Lemberg untenable. The Russians had broken 
the Stokhod lines at Hulevitchi, almost due east of Kovel. 
Below this point the marsh-flanked stream juts out in a 
wide curve to the west, forming a huge salient, along whose 
inner rim lay the Teuton defenses. The piercing of the 
front above this salient immediately forced Linsingen's 
troops to retreat back toward Kovel. As a result, virtually 
the entire line of the Stokhod passed into the hands of the 

Further south, Bothmer's army, outflanked north and 
south, was trying to extricate itself from the perilous posi- 
tion in which it had been placed by the Russian blows south 
of Brody. What had been thriving towns on the steel high- 
way that linked Brody with Lemberg had become deserted 
villages; busy farms had become isolated stretches of bare 
land. Hindenburg's troops felt the effect of this Russian 
coup de main. Besides surrendering territory won only at 



much cost and valuable time, the occasion seemed to have 
come when he would have to permit his lines to be thinned 
out and exposed to the growing pressure exerted by Kuro- 
patkin. It was not the extent of territory won by Brusiloff's 
drive that was important as much as the capture in two 
days of 20,000 prisoners and more than one hundred big 
guns. The Russians many times before had extended their 
lines, but never had they or any single one of the combatants 
in the war struck such a blow at an enemy's means of de- 
fense. There was only one conclusion to be drawn, accord- 
ing to high army officers: The Teuton system of defense 
had collapsed more completely on this occasion than ever 
before. In Southern Galicia the Russians had again taken 
up the drive for Lemberg through Stanislau and Halicz, 
both important railroad centers. 5 

By August 1 the Austrians were still falling back. Lem- 
berg and Kovel were more and more in danger. The first 
achievement of this month had been the capture of Brody, 
fifty-eight miles northeast of Lemberg. The Russian advance 
on Lemberg was now under way from both south and north- 
east. Having crossed the Stokhod, in Volhynia, the Rus- 
sians bade fair to reach a position which would endanger 
the German lines along the Bug. Even south of the Dniester 
the Teuton forces had been driven back in some places. 
The capture of Kovel and then of Lemberg seemed in- 
evitable. Unless the German and Austrian armies should 
move westward rapidly, a Russian wedge might be driven 
between them. After nearly two months of activity, the 
Czar's forces claimed they had captured over 350,000 
Austro-German troops, while the capture of artillery and 
supplies had been enormous. In addition not less than 
15,000 square miles of territory, including all of Bukowina, 
had been reconquered. This was an area, as already stated, 
but little smaller than the combined area of the French and 
Belgian districts occupied by the Germans. It was thought 
to demonstrate clearly that Russian reverses of a year be- 
fore were only temporary, that Russia had mastered herself 
again, that she had succeeded in transforming herself in- 
dustrially, and had managed to equip new millions, behind 

c Arthur S. Draper in The Tribune (New York). 



which were other millions. In men Russia had always been the 
richest of the Allies, but the real problem of the war for 
her was whether she could supply the men with guns and 
ammunition. That problem she apparently had now solved. 

One thing the Russian success had done ; it had terminated 
for the time being the Austrian menace to Italy, for the 
Austrian campaign in the Trentino had been abandoned. 
Troops concentrated there had in large numbers been sent 
to support beaten troops in Galicia. At this time the Rus- 
sian advance beyond Erzerum was threatening the Turk in 
Asia Minor, and a new campaign from Saloniki seemed as- 
sured. This campaign, if successful, promised to contribute 
more than either of the great drives to bring about peace, 
since it would deprive Germany of her only considerable 
prize of the war, which was Serbia. It would, in fact, 
eliminate that "place in the sun" so dear to German 
hearts which had been temporarily achieved by Mackensen's 
great Serbian campaign in 1915. On August 8 Litchitzky 
scored a new victory by the capture of Tlumach, ten miles 
further northwest. This cut the railway between Stanislau, 
Tysmienitza and Buczacz, which had been utilized by the 
Austrians for supplying the southern end of Bothmer's 
front, and gave the Russians another direct avenue of attack 
on Stanislau, which, having been "pocketed" by the cap- 
ture of other villages northeast and south, was now being 
evacuated. Three achievements marked Russia's campaign 
in the week in which came August 10 the capture of 
Stanislau, which is eighty-seven miles southeast of Lemberg, 
and an important "stepping-stone" in Russia's march on 
Lemberg; the crossing of the Zlota Lipa which made the 
German army under Bothmer draw back and take a line of 
defense nearer Lemberg; and an advance in the far south, 
through the Carpathian pass of Jablonitza and the town of 
the same name, into the borders of Hungary. It was stated 
in despatches that the Kaiser had insisted that Kovel, now 
threatened north of Lemberg, should be held at all costs. 
Already the Russian offensive had played a tremendous 
part undoubtedly the leading part in the concerted Allied 

On August 9 the Russians had been within six miles of 



Stanislau, and were smashing the Austrian line on a twenty- 
five-mile front. Russian advance-guards were almost on the 
outskirts of this important railway center, whose fall was 
then expected at any hour. Brusiloff had not been idle 
along the Stokhod, altho it was apparent that, for the time 
being, the drive on Kovel was secondary in importance to 
greater movements in Galicia. The Czar's troops had at- 
tacked at three points on the Stokhod south of the 
Stobychva bend, east of Kovel and north of Kiselin, but 
were rolled back by the furious fire of the Teuton batteries 
and counter-charges by Linsingen's forces. Apparently a 
serious break had occurred in the Teutonic lines along the 
Dniester in the whole Stanislau region. Letchitsky's army 
was only eight miles southeast of Halicz, and his troops 
pushed on so rapidly that the Austrians had to blow up 
storehouses in their haste to get away. The capture of 
Stanislau then rapidly completed the encircling movement 
that had been unfolding for ten days. 

By August 18 the Russians had advanced three miles 
into Hungary and were storming Austrian positions on a 
mountain peak near Korosmezo, at the Hungarian end of 
Jablonitza Pass. From Korosmezo ran a railroad that led 
down into the fertile plains. Brusiloff's army had fought 
its way through the Jablonitza Pass along the line of this rail- 
road by hard work along wooded Carpathian peaks and 
ravines. At the same time the Russian offensive further 
north along the Zlota Lipa front had grown stronger. De- 
termined Austrian counter-attacks could not stop it per- 
manently. Gains in several parts of the front were an- 
nounced. Hungary had been entered at its northeastern 
corner, not far from the Transylvania border. The point 
where fighting went on was the summit of the Carpathian 

The Russians advanced along the railroads from Stanislau 
and Kolomea, in Galicia, which converge at Delatin and 
then go through Jablonitza Pass. Once through the pass, 
running through Korosmezo, the railroad goes southwest, 
along the line of the Theiss to Szigeth, a distance of 150 
miles from Budapest. This railroad and the valley of the 
Theiss would be the natural line of advance in an invasion 



of Hungary. Hungary would have been a rich prize for 
the armies of the Czar and a heavy loss to the Central 
Powers. Hungary besides being the great wheat-growing, 
cattle-raising region of the Austro-Hungarian empire, has 
many valuable mines and ammunition works. Russian oc- 
cupancy would have cut the Central Powers off from these 
much-needed and valuable supplies. In the northwest are 
sheep-grazing lands, and immediately to the south thick 
forests. About Koloszvar pigs and sheep are raised. The 
south and east look like Kansas, so wide are the wheat- 
fields. After breaking through the Stokhod line, the Rus- 
sians made a further advance and captured several posi- 

August 29 marked a renewal of the Russian offensive on 
the Zlota Lipa when the first blow was directed against a 
salient near Zavaloff. Important artillery positions on Hill 
413 were captured and the Teutons were compelled to retire 
beyond the Zlota Lipa. On the following day the fighting 
was extended toward the southwest and soon the battle had 
spread over the entire front from Zavaloff and Nosoff on 
the Zlota Lipa to Mariampol on the Dniester. On September 
3 the struggle reached its culminating point when in the 
morning of that day the Russians, operating on both sides of 
the Dniester, captured the town of Jezupol and its surround- 
ings, including wooded heights which dominated that town 
and the crossing of the Dniester, on the Stanislau-Halicz 
railway line. Further north, the advance was against the 
Dryshchoff-Nosoff front, across steep hills and through thick 
forests. Especially obstinate was the resistance in forests 
between Horozhanks and Dryshchoff, which were held by 
picked German troops. Three successive Russian attacks 
were repulsed. Later in the afternoon the Russians by an 
advance through forests north of Byshoff, succeeded in turn- 
ing the right German flank. At 6 P.M. the Russians forced 
their way into the forest, and bitter hand-to-hand fighting 
developed. By the end of the day four square miles of 
forest were strewn with German corpses. 

With the piercing of the Nosoff-Deleyoff front all further 
resistance on that advanced line was rendered impossible. 
In the ensuing German route, Russian cavalry played a 



brilliant part. More than 4,000 Austrian, German, and 
Turkish prisoners were captured. On the following day the 
advance from the southeast was reinforced by a concentric 
movement from the east, across the Zlota Lipa. The difficult 
river-crossing between the village of Voloshchyzna on the 
eastern and Bozhykoff on the western bank was captured, 
and the Turks who held that sector were routed. On the 
same day the Russian advance was prest across woode'd 
heights west of the Zlota Lipa within a few miles of the 
Halicz-Podvysokie railway. Meanwhile, at the southern end 
of the line, the Russians had cleared of Teutons the eastern 




corner between the Dniester and the Gnila Lipa, had cap- 
tured the railway between Vodniki, Siemikovitse and the 
railway station of Halicz, and were crossing the Gnila 
Lipa. On the night of September 4-5 the military stores 
of Bolshovtse were set on fire. 

Of this campaign later in September so little was heard 
that an impression that it had exhausted itself, and come 
to a full stop before the gathering forces of Austro-Germans 
concentrated on the roads to Kovel, prevailed even in 
neutral quarters. But Brusiloff had been continuing his 
tactics of sharp, unexpected thrusts along the whole front, 
changing the point of attack with rapidity, with the result 
that the Austro-Germans were kept in suspense and unable 
to withdraw troops from one sector to another, where for 
the moment they were needed. When Roumania entered 
the war the events came to occupy much of Austria's at- 
tention, especially in the Dobrudja and in eastern Roumania. 
Opposing armies were engaged from the Black Sea to the 
Danube along a front of seventy miles. On the northern 
end of their line, near Riga, the Russians began a new un- 
dertaking and crossed the Dwina. Repeated efforts were 
made by the Germans to dislodge them. In eastern Galicia 
the Austro-Germans were fighting to hold back the Russians 
from Halicz, southeast of Lemberg. 

By September 8 the Russians before Halicz had gone for- 
ward several miles along a broad front where the troops 
of Pflanzer and Bothmer, bulwarked by Turks and Germans, 
were striving to defend the southern gateway to Lemberg. 
While Letchitsky and Cherbatchoff were assailing Teuton 
lines in the south, Sakharoff was continuing his pressure east 
of Lemberg, where he had pushed to within thirty-five miles 
of the capital. Russian attacks against Halicz and the rail- 
roads radiating from that town beat back all resistance. 
Halicz was an important bridgehead, guarding the passage 
of the Dniester, and a railroad center of much value. Here 
the Teutons effected a great concentration of troops. By 
September 9 the Austrians began to blow up forts at Halicz 
and the Russians occupied some of the fortifications. The 
great bridge across the Dniester was blown up. Official 
bulletins indicated that the struggle was a desperate one. 



Gradually driven back, Bothmer's army was compelled to 
retire five miles westward of the Zlota Lipa line of defense 
until Halicz was in a critical position, surrounded as it was 
on three sides and saved from immediate capitulation only 
by excellent natural defenses. Halicz was in a Russian 
noose. With this fortress trapt, the drive on Lemberg was 
to be prosecuted without delay. 

By September 21 the battle for Kovel took on new in- 
tensity. Along a twelve-mile front the Russians advanced 
in heavy formation, while the Germans in turn counter- 
attacked repeatedly. The Russian Guard, the flower of the 
Czar's troops, was taking part in this attack, which aimed 
to flank the Austrian positions at Kovel and so force its 
surrender. Meanwhile, in Galicia the Halicz battle con- 
tinued on the same scale with the tide turning slowly in 
favor of the Russians, altho the advantage fluctuated. The 
Czar's commander, unable to force a way through to Halicz, 
shifted the attack to Volhynia in an attempt to weaken the 
German line in Galicia by forcing a transfer of troops. 
Altho the Russians still claimed the initiative, it was evident 
that the German counter-attacks were becoming more fre- 
quent and vigorous. In large numbers of reinforcements 
sent to these regions from other fronts, as well as in the 
more aggressive character of the German fighting, there were 
signs that Hindenburg was planning a new campaign to 
recover his old positions before winter set in. 

On October 4 the Russians were almost in the suburbs of 
Brzezany, an important railway junction on the Zlota Lipa, 
fifty miles southeast of Lemberg. In a desperate three- 
day battle, the Czar's troops forced the Zlota Lipa, swept 
the Teutons from heights dominating the town and then 
carried out a destructive bombardment. The investment of 
Brzezany by the Russians promised to compel the retirement 
of Bothmer's army from the whole line of the Zlota Lipa 
north of that point. With the Zlota Lipa line entirely in 
the hands of the Russians, the Teuton forces in Galicia 
would have been compelled to retreat on Lemberg to escape 
flank attacks. 

Stubborn battles were continuing in Volhynia, west of 
Lutsk, where Berlin reported the Czar's troops had lost 



thousands in killed and had won not a foot of ground. 
Battles of a desperate character were also in progress along 
all four of the main approaches to Lemberg. While the 
fighting in the Balkans, and particularly that in which Rou- 
mania was engaged, had occupied the attention of the public 
almost exclusively for several days, the Russians in the 
second week of October were fighting one of the greatest 
battles they had yet engaged in. All efforts to take Kovel 
apparently for the present had been abandoned. The main 
Russian effort was to be made against Lemberg, which had 
been made necessary by the entrance into the war of Rou- 
mania. Roumania had induced the Russians to localize their 
attacks at a point where it would do the most good to the 
Roumanian cause, and this point was Lemberg. Once in 
Lemberg, the Russians would be able to force the retreat 
of the Teuton line back to the Stryj-Grodek line and to 
make the passage of the Carpathian mountains easier, and, 
once the Carpathians were crossed, Falkenhayn, the dis- 
credited chief of staff of the Verdun failure, now in com- 
mand here, could be taken in flank, the Germans forced to 
release the pressure they were exerting on the Roumanians, 
and to fall back, abandoning practically all of Transylvania. 
The Roumanian situation was giving the Allies not a little 
uneasiness. The quickest and most effective way of re- 
lieving it was by a Russian success north of the Car- 

Referring at this time to the battlefields of Galicia, the 
Berliner Vorwarts estimated that, between Gorlice and the 
heights of Tarnovo, there were no fewer than 419 grave- 
yards, which by the summer of 1916 had been cleared of 
unsightly surroundings, and whenever possible natural 
beauties in landscapes had been utilized to lend dignity to 
these enormous cemeteries. All along the Dunajec these 
graveyards of soldiers were thickly strewn over the country- 
side. Russians, Austrians, Germans, Hungarians, to the 
number of 40,000 were buried in cared-for places, but this 
number did not include men buried in masses in one grave. 
In west Galicia alone were 600 graveyards, and in other 
parts more than 100. From the Dunajec eastward countless 
graves were to be seen stretching far away to the eastern 



plains memorials of Mackensen's great victory in the sum- 
mer of 1915. 

A violent attack on Russian positions in the Stokhod re- 
gion of Volhynia was made on November 9 by Austro-Ger- 
man forces. After repelling several onslaughts the Russians 
were compelled to fall back to their second line, and as a 
result of a German counter-attack in the region south of 
Dorna Watra, they had to give up some of the heights which 
they had captured on the day previous. Nevertheless, 
Brusiloff remained as confident as ever of the ultimate suc- 
cess of Russia in the East. He said: 

"The war is won to-day, altho it is merely speculation to estimate 
how much more time will be required before the enemy is convinced 
that the cause for the sake of which he has drenched Europe with 
blood is irretrievably lost. If there remain any Germans still hope- 
ful for their cause, let them realize that to-day, when the Central 
Powers already have lost the initiative and are finding difficulty in 
refilling their ranks, Russia has not yet reached the zenith of her 
power, which will only be approached next year, when we shall have 
the largest and best army since the beginning of the war. Next 
year we shall have material on an equality with the Germans, and 
superiority in human resources which should steadily increase as 
long as the war endures. The morale of the Russian people has 
been slowly rising for two years, and it is my absolute personal con- 
viction that, if it were possible to take a vote of the entire popula- 
tion, ninety-nine out of every one hundred Russians to-day would 
demand the continuation of the war to a definite and final victory 
regardless of the price." 6 

Amid these events came news of the fall of the pro- 
German Sturmer, the Russian Premier, and the appointment 
in his place of a man in sympathy with the Duma. This 
was regarded as the most important incident in Russia since 
the Czar took command of his armies after the great de- 
feats of 1915 that began at the Dunajec and ended at the 
Beresina. The change was regarded as a final answer to the 
German hope that Russia would make a separate peace. 
Broadly speaking, the Duma represented the national and 
popular emotions of Russia, the demand for prosecution of 
the war against Germany. The proclamation of an au- 

Dispatch from Stanley Washburn to The Times (London). 



tonomous Poland had already been a recognition by Vienna 
and Berlin that there was no chance of a separate peace 
with Russia. At bottom this war was a war of liberation 
for the Russian people who were fighting it with the spirit 
that marked the French in their own war late in the 
eighteenth century to protect their revolution from 
monarchial Europe. Germany, the stronghold of reaction 
and absolutism, had been the friend of Russian reaction and 
Russian despotism. Not merely had the German influence 
in Russia tended to strengthen the bureaucracy, but it had 
brought about a situation where Russia had been exploited 
by German industry. The German merchant and the Ger- 
man manufacturer dominated Russia, and by virtue of a 
treaty, wrung from Russia at the moment of the Japanese 
war, Germany had obtained a practical monopoly of Russian 

An event surpassing in far-reaching importance the actual 
military operations of the war happened on December 3 
with the public announcement by the new Russian Premier 
that, by an agreement concluded in 1915, and subsequently 
adhered to by Italy, the Allies had definitely established 
Russia's right to Constantinople and the strait. The ex- 
istence of this agreement had been for a long time alleged 
but never before had it been publicly and formally admitted. 
Constantinople and the Dardanelles were now guaranteed to 
Russia by the Allies "in the most definite manner." An 
arrangement that had been more than hinted at by Sir 
Edward Grey, and that had been announced with greater 
certainty by Professor Miliukoff, leader of the Liberal 
majority in the Duma, was thus formally made public. It 
became an exhortation to increased energy and greater sac- 
rifice at a moment when Roumania had cast a bleak aspect 
over the Allied cause. But Premier Trepoff's words were 
addrest not only to the Russian people, but to Germany and 
to Russia's Allies. It was explicit notification that all 
possibility of a separate peace with Germany had ceased. 
By appealing to the ancient Russian sentiment that clus- 
tered about Byzantium, Premier Trepoff gave notice that 
the pro-German intrigues of the Stiirmer Cabinet were at 
an end. To Berlin's announcement of a reestablished Polish 



kingdom, the Russian Government retorted not merely that 
it was determined to keep Poland out of Teuton hands, but 
that it still held fast to the proudest purpose of Russian 
policy the acquisition of Constantinople. Far from con- 
sidering herself beaten, Russia saw no reason why she should 
yield a jot from her original program. Hindenburg was re- 
ported as saying of this announcement that Russia had un- 
dertaken to acquire of "a big mouthful." 
The announcement was of great significance, however, and 


came at a time when it should have inspired the armies and 
people of the empire to their utmost efforts. As Premier 
Trepoff said, th's promised the realization of the "age-long 
dream, cherished in the hearts of the Russian people" for 
more than a thousand years, of a "free outlet on the open 
sea" to the south. The time had come when Russians should 
know for what they were shedding their blood, and it was 
"in accordance with her Allies" that the announcement of 
the agreement was made. "Absolute agreement on this 

v. vii 17 249 


point," the Premier took pains to repeat, "is firmly estab- 
lished among the Allies." 

There remained six weeks of good campaigning weather 
in which to complete the work begun early in June by tak- 
ing some keypoint like Kovel or Lemberg. The previous 
two months seemed to have warranted such hopes, while the 
entry of Roumania into the war promised a grave situa- 
tion for Hindenburg on his southern flank. But Germany 
had not been slow to perceive and prepare against the danger 
that threatened her. The whole eastern command had been 
transformed. A de facto German control, which had existed 
since the first day of war, was now formally proclaimed and 
extended to the smallest details. Austrian regiments were 
moved about like pawns on a chessboard, without regard to 
the wishes of their nominal commanders. They did not com- 
plain, for the Prussian handling was efficient, and that of 
their own leaders had been chaotic. Moreover, they were 
now decently fed, and their transport was well organized. 

Russia faced the winter with very different prospects from 
those of a year before. Then she lay weary at the end of 
her great retreat ; now she had behind her a summer of suc- 
cesses which, if they fell short of her hopes, had yet in- 
flicted irreparable losses upon her enemies, and had proved 
conclusively that, given anything like a fair munitionment, 
she could break the front of the invader. There were, how- 
ever, two dark spots in her outlook. The success of the sum- 
mer had weakened that political unanimity at home which 
had characterized the darkest days of the 'retreat. Reac- 
tionary elements had appeared among ministerial appoint- 
ments. Th'e Duma and the Government drew apart. Omens 
already as to Russian internal politics were not propitious 
for a harmonious winter. It was clear meanwhile that Ger- 
many would struggle desperately to put Roumania out of 
action, to make her share the fate of Serbia and Belgium, 
and succor could come only from Russia, for the Allies at 
Saloniki were too weak and too far away to affect the situa- 
tion. Could Russia be depended on in such an emergency ? 

A manifesto of Emperor William and Emperor Francis 
Joseph again calling into existence the ancient Kingdom of 
Poland was read in Warsaw on November 5 to Polish repre- 



Sixteen days after be and the German Kaiser proclaimed Poland again a 
Kingdom, Francis Joseph died, his reign the longest active one in history 


sentatives assembled in the Royal Palace. Outside in the 
great square before the castle, and in the courtyard of that 
venerable fourteenth-century pile", inhabitants gathered by 
thousands to attend what was designated as the rebirth of 
the Polish nation a concept the importance and bearing of 
which were then making their way into the minds of people 
after a long sleep of more than a century. The ceremony 
was short and simple. Precisely at noon General von Bese- 
ler, wearing decorations granted to him for the reduction of 
Antwerp and the Polish fortresses, mounted the dais in the 
ball-room of the castle and read the Imperial manifesto "in 
ringing, soldierly tones." When he ceased, Count Hutten- 
czapski, the palace commandant, read from a leather-bound 
pamphlet to the Polish notables a translation of the mani- 
festo in their own language. Then came cheers from a 
hitherto silent crowd, and a band in an adjoining gallery 
struck up the strains of the ancient national anthem. After 
a few bars had been played, Poles in the hall burst into 
strains which recited the ancient glories, the fallen fortunes, 
and. the undying hopes of Poland. Twenty minutes saw the 
end of the ceremony, the participants, excitedly discussing 
the future, slowly making their way home. 

The importance of this declaration would have been less 
debated had it not contained an uncertain condition "The 
exact frontiers of the Kingdom of Poland will be outlined 
later." The promise of automony for Poland made from 
Petrograd at the beginning of the war had been a tactical 
move in the great war game, precisely as this promise of a 
"national state" from Berlin and Vienna was now a move 
in the same game. A principle, however, had been laid down 
on both occasions. The price which Petrograd and Berlin 
both contracted to pay for the support of the Polish people 
and for sympathy from the outside world, could afterward 
no more be recalled than the price that Petrograd and 
Berlin had to pay for guns and ammunition they contracted 
to buy. To the outside observer it was enough that, out of 
the wreck and evil of the war, one solid gain for progress 
and civilization had emerged; and not the least, because the 
gain fell to the share of a people that had suffered more 
than any other in this war. Poland's woes, under the 



forward and backward sweep of armies, had been heavier 
even than Belgium's. 

The question at once arose, could Germany and Austria 
refuse after the war to give up their own share of the an- 
cient Polish patrimony in order to rebuild old Poland? In 
consistency, many held that they could not. One bitter 
comment was that "a reformed pirate is an interesting per- 
son, especially when he returns a former partner's swag and 
keeps his own." Would the people of any new Polish king- 
dom remain content to have millions of other Poles still 
living outside their kingdom under foreign rule? Most ob- 
servers knew they would not be so content, and that there 
would have to come a change in Prussian policy in Posen. 
It was impossible to think of a Polish kingdom living in 
"intimate relations" with Germany while dragonades in 
Posen continued. The Teuton manifesto was highly signifi- 
cant in its bearing on a possible separate peace with Russia. 
Perhaps the manifesto had been a result of Russia's refusal 
to enter into any separate negotiations. 

In any case the Central Powers had obviously abandoned 
all hope of a separate peace with Russia. Because of 
Teutonic hopes for such a peace the Polish question had 
perhaps been adjourned for more than a year. All through 
the war, in fact, Germany had alternately cherished and 
put aside this hope. The decision to recreate Poland now 
definitely, closed the way to negotiations, but Russia 's offensive 
spoke volumes for determination to stand with her Western 
Allies to the end. In restoring a part of Poland, Germany 
and Austria had raised a new problem for themselves. In 
Galicia there were not less than five million Poles; in Posen 
and the Prussias there were nearly four million more. 
Krakow, in Galicia, was the old Polish capital, and nowhere 
had the dream of a restored Poland been cherished more 
steadily than in Polish Galicia. Once the liberation of 
Poland had begun it would not end until all the regions in- 
habited by Poles were gathered under Polish sovereignty. 

On November 21 Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria, / 
died. This was the most important death that had occurred 
among the chief actors in the war drama. An old era ended 
with Francis Joseph's life. He inherited a great patrimony, 


kingdoms, and duchies, and he had kept his dominions as 
might a steward, and transmitted them to a successor almost 
intact. He had sacrificed the political progress of his peo- 
ples and had allowed control of Austrian policy to pass to 
the Hohenzollerns, all for the sake of his patrimony. His 
was the longest active reign of which there was authentic 
record. When he went to Schoenbrunn, he found about 'him 
the memories of a Napoleonic occupation not yet remote; 
he lived to an hour when a new Napoleonic struggle con- 
vulsed the world. He was the last great remaining royal 
figure of the nineteenth century. 

"When Francis Joseph was young Metternieh ruled in 
Vienna. Other great men of the fight against Napoleon were 
still on earth. When he came to power the Revolution of 
1848 was going forward. He was young when Cavour 
unified Italy, when Bismarck created modern Germany. 
William I., Victoria, Louis Napoleon, Victor Emmanuel, 
these were his contemporaries. The world that he best knew 
had vanished also. Republican institutions had returned to 
France. During the threescore and eight years that he 
reigned, he saw all Europe, save his own realm, made over. 
The war with Napoleon III. drove him out of Italy; the 
war with Prussia expelled him from Germany, and from that 
moment Austria declined; she was no longer one of the 
dominating voices in European councils,- she had become 
more and more the vassal of that Prussia whose rise she 
had opposed. 

Francis Joseph was not a great Emperor like Napoleon, 
nor yet a great King like Louis XIV., and he had no wide 
outlook upon world affairs. He was a typical product of the 
Hapsburg family, whose reactionary ideas he shared and 
served. When young, the theories of Metternieh ruled and 
he accepted them. He fought to prevent the unity of Italy 
and the rise of modern Germany. He sought to enslave 
the Balkans- as his predecessors endeavored to enslave Italy. 
Francis Joseph resembled Louis XIV. in his fidelity to the 
task that had come to him unsought. No man ever worked 
harder; no man ever devoted himself more unsparingly to 
the business of ruling. He did not create, he did not trans- 
form, but he did preserve. Ultimately, by dint of devotion 




to what he conceived to be the welfare of his people, he 
built up a tradition, and constructed a legend. 

And so the Eastern Front entered upon its winter of rest 
from war's doings. Between the Russian and the Teuton came 
a pause, really a stalemate in the fighting, but before spring 
had dawned, the whole aspect of the war in that field was 
completely transformed. Russia was in a revolution, the 
tremendous consequences and frightful aspects of which en- 
grossed all the world till the war's end and long after. 7 

7 Principal Sources : The Evening Post, the "Military Expert" of The 
Times, The Tribune, New York ; The London Times' "History of the War," 
"Nelson's History of the War" by John Buchan ; The Evening Sun, Brad- 
street's, New York ; Associated Press dispatches, The Evening Post (New 



Part IV 








March 15, 1917 April 6, 1917 

IT would have been hard to find seven consecutive days 
within a century (except perhaps those of the signing 
of the armistice and the German Revolution, or the days 
immediately preceding the outbreak of the war itself), that 
were so big with events as that brief period in 1917 between 
March 15 and March 21. Within that time occurred the 
revolution in Russia, an event unparalleled since the days 
of the French Revolution, the beginning of Hindenburg's re- 
tirement of German forces on the Western Front, the rout 
of Turkish forces by British and Russian armies in Persia, 
Mesopotamia, and Syria ; an open confession by Bethmann- 
Hollweg, the German Chancellor, in his "woe to the states- 
men" speech, that Germany must become more democratic; 
and signs almost unmistakable of the early entrance of the 
United States into the war as an active belligerent, the 
President having issued a call to Congress to meet in special 
session on April 2 for the purpose of dealing with the war- 
situation as a matter of fact, for declaring war on 
Germany, which was done on April 6. 

When people said the Russian Revolution came unexpect- 
edly, they ignored a long undermining which gradually had 
melted away the supports of autocracy, so that when the 
Russian people struck they struck an empty shell. Persons 
familiar with Russia had believed since the beginning of 
the war that a revolution might come any day, with a 
suddenness characteristic of many movements in Russia, but 
on the morning of Sunday, March 11, 1917, after some days 
of bread riots, few people had noticed any real revolutionary 
spirit in the crowds of people who lightly taunted policemen 
in the streets and good-naturedly cheered Cossacks. General 


Khabaloff' s order to police and Cossacks, posted on March 
10, had been to shoot if necessary when dispersing crowds. 
That smacked strongly of serious business, but when the 
Cossacks refused to use their rifles and, later, when they 
fired blank cartridges from machine-guns, a revolution still 
seemed a make-believe affair. It was not until a regiment 
of soldiers, when ordered to shoot into a crowd of hungry 
civilians, mutinied and, after shooting their own officers, 
made common cause with the people, that it seemed probable 
a new birth for Russia was imminent. 

The anger of the people at shortages in ammunition for 
the army, which was largely caused by the inactivity of the 
Government, had grown in intensity as Russia had been ham- 
pered again and again by deficiencies. The removal in 1915 
of the Grand Duke Nicholas as Commander-in-Chief of the 
armies, the repeated arrogant treatment of the Duma by 
the Czar and his reactionary ministers, and the appointment 
of such pro-Germans as Sturmer and Galitzin to the position 
of Premier, all had goaded the people into a state of frenzy 
from which there could be only one outlet. Most of all 
were they aroused by a dawning belief that these occur- 
rences were all part of a pro-German propaganda, headed, 
it seemed to many, by their German-born Empress, and by 
the notorious degenerate priest, Rasputin, whose assassination 
several weeks before should have warned the Government, if 
anything could have warned it, of an impending uprising. 

One of the most extraordinary, as well as one of the most 
successful, impostors who ever made religion a cloak for 
ambition, sensuality, and vice was removed in this Russian 
monk, Gregory Rasputin. Mr. George Kennan, the Amer- 
ican traveler, who many years before investigated and wrote 
on the Siberian-exile system, said 1 that Rasputin's very 
name meant a "rake, a dissolute, licentious man." It was 
assumed by its bearer when, in his later life, he "put on 
a deceptive garb of sanctity," perhaps intending "to suggest 
the idea that he was a reformed and converted sinner." 
But he was no real monk at all that is, he was a member 
of no monkish order in the Greek Church but a man of 
peasant stock, who had received an elementary education in 

1 In The Outlook (New York). 



public schools, which enabled him to write his name and 
read the Bible. As a youth, he was "given to drunkenness 
and dissipation, and lived the life of a common village 
hoodlum of the peasant class; but, in spite of excesses, 
developed into a man of powerful physique and not un- 
pleasing appearance, and a man, moreover, who for some 
reason was particularly attractive to women." 

Accounts of how he first met the Czar differed, but the 
meeting had occurred about ten years before the Revolution. 
His influence at court became so great that "even nobles, 
generals and high officers of State who desired promotion 
or increase of salary sought his intercession and support." 
But by 1909 his loose moral conduct had become a scandal 
in Petrograd, and in 1910 Prime Minister Stolpin ordered 
him out of the city. He disappeared for a time, but at the 
end of 1911 was back again and "became the favorite, if 
not the adviser, of the Emperor and Empress." During 
the next two years, so Mr. Kennan quoted from the Petro- 
grad Ryctch, "the life and success of the starets were 
perhaps without a parallel even in Russian history." To 
Rasputin's influence were attributed the resignation of S. M. 
Lukiauoff, Procurator of the Holy Synod, the overthrow of 
Bishop Hermogen and the monk Iliodor, with whom he 
had quarreled ; the promotion of Bishop Barnabas ; the cam- 
paign against the Metropolitan Antonius; and the wholesale 
dismissal of professors from the ecclesiastical academies. His 
activities finally created so much indignation in the Duma 
that they were made the subject of two interpellations. 

After the outbreak of the war, Rasputin's influence over 
the Emperor and the Empress "was popularly connected 
with many important events, notably the removal of the 
Grand Duke Nicholas from command of the armies." Ras- 
putin, it was said, favored a separate peace with Germany, 
and the Grand Duke, when he heard of it, "declared that if 
the starets should fall into his hands he would hang him." 
Frequent references were made in the press to the "dark 
forces" that were attempting to control Russia's foreign 
and domestic policy. These "dark forces" were Rasputin 
and other adventurers, impostors, or fanatics, "who were 
apparently influencing the character and sometimes inspir- 



ing the acts of a religiously inclined but superstitious 
monarch." Several weeks before the Revolution broke out, 

Rasputin was assassinated in 
Petrograd and his body put 
under the ice in the river 

It was on the night of De- 
cember 20 that Prince Yusupov, 
a young man of rank and 
wealth, who had been educated 
at Oxford, England, and had 
married a connection of the 
Imperial Russian family, rang 
up Rasputin on the telephone, 
and asked him to supper at 
his house. Such supper parties 
were no unusual things in Ras- 
putin's experience, for he could 
drink any guardsman under 
the table, and was famous as 
a ribald jester. Rather un- 
willingly he accepted the invi- 
tation, and was taken to the 
house personally by his host in 
his own car. The chauffeur 
was M. Purishkevitch, a Con- 
servative member of the Duma 
from Bessarabia, who fol- 
lowed him inside the house, 
where he found the Grand 
Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch. The 
door was then locked and Ras- 
putin told that he would never 
leave the place alive. He was 
handed a pistol wherewith to 
shoot himself. He fired in- 
stead at the Grand Duke, and 
missed him, whereupon he 
was shot dead. Police came to inquire as to the noise they 
had heard. "We were getting rid of a troublesome dog," 



Rasputin's evil Influence at the 
Russian court and his murder by 
men Interested In better govern- 
ment was an Incident that led to 
the outbreak of the revolution 



was the explanation. Rasputin's corpse was placed in the 
car in which he had come to the house and taken to a 
lonely island in the Neva where, weighted with stones, it 
was dropt through a hole in the ice. Bloodmarks left on 
the snow and one of Rasputin's galoshes were the only 
visible signs of the tragedy left on the ice. The executioners 
then went home and telephoned to the police to proclaim 
the truth as to what they had done. Next evening the 
Bourse Gazette announced Rasputin's death. That night at 
the Imperial Theater an audience celebrated the event with 
wild enthusiasm, as they sang the National Hymn. The 
whole country applauded the deed less as a murder than as 
a judicial execution. 

The death of Rasputin was the first act in the Russian 
Revolution. For the moment the autocracy drew the strings 
tighter. Rasputin was dead, but Protopopov remained, and 
the censorship was intensified. Alexander Protopopov will 
remain one of the enigmas of Russian history. Originally 
a Liberal, he came to Western Europe in the summer of 
1916 with a deputation of members of the Duma and the 
Council of the Empire, and delighted audiences in England 
and France with his oratory. He had great charm of man- 
ner, and a kind of earnest simplicity which deeply imprest 
those who met him. On his return he fell completely into 
the hands of the Court party, and more especially of those 
elements which were represented by Rasputin. His neurotic 
temperament and restless imagination predisposed him to 
the influence of the Court and the necromancy of charlatans. 
Toward the end he became known as the "Mad Minister." 
It is likely that his wits were seriously unhinged. 

The winter had been bitter with heavy snowfalls, and 
the supply of food was scanty. The Government had no 
plan to deal with the shortage, and by February the daily 
bread-ration in Petrograd, small at the best, looked as if it 
were about to fail. "Word began to go around that before 
the spring came real starvation would .be upon them, and 
there were many Social Democrats in the factories and 
mysterious figures at the street corners to point the moral 
and ask what was the use of a Government which could not 
give them bread. Thursday, March 8, was a day of fine, 



clear weather. In .the Duma a debate on the question of 
food-supplies was winding out its slow length. Everywhere 
there seemed a profound peace the peace of apathy and dis- 
heartenment. But in the afternoon a small party of Cos- 
sacks galloped down the Nevski Prospect, causing the prom- 
enaders to ask whether there was not trouble somewhere 
across the river. A little later a few bakers' shops were looted 
in the poorer quarters and a forlorn and orderly procession of 
students and workmen's wives appeared in the Nevski. 

Protopopov's spies reported that all was quiet; but they 
were wrong the Revolution had begun. The breaking point 
had been reached in the people's temper. All Russia was 
on the tiptoe of expectation, seeking for a sign. Next day, 
in the same bright cold weather, it became apparent that 
some change had taken place. The people by a common 
impulse flowed out into the streets, but it was hard to believe 
that leaderless crowds could achieve anything worth while. 
They were unarmed and undisciplined, and in Petrograd 
there were at least 29,000 police, with many machine-guns. 
On the following day trams stopt running, altho shops were 
still open, and the motion picture shows crowded. Streets 
were more densely packed than ever, and the following 
morning it was announced that the police had orders to 
disperse all crowds. Enormous throngs, including women 
and children, had turned out from pure curiosity, the police 
patrols much strengthened, and detachments of regulars 
brought in to assist them. The Nevski Prospect being 
cleared from end to end, it was put under military guard 
after some two hundred had been killed. Prince Golitzin 
prorogued the Duma, under powers received from the Em- 
perer, but the Duma refused to be prorogued and elected 
a Provisional Committee. Rodzianko's huge figure rose in 
the winter twilight, and waving in his hand the order for 
dissolution, announced that the Duma was now the sole con- 
stitutional authority in Russia. During that act of defiance 
to an order from the Czar, Kerensky had made a dramatic 
speech in the Duma. 

Monday, March 12, was a critical day. A movement 
which had begun by slow and halting stages was about to 
become a whirlwind. The troops, both the garrison and the 



Nicholas has on the Hussar uniform. George V the white uniform of the 

Kaiser's Cuirassiers 


reinforcements, aware what their orders would be, resolved 
to disobey them. They could not shoot down men of their 
own class. Before nine o'clock the streets were black with 
people. On the crust of the volcano much of the normal 
life of the city still -went on, men going about their ordi- 
nary vocations. Early next day came the crisis. The Pre- 
obrajenski Guards regiments, the flower of the Household 
troops, were ordered to fire on 
the mob; instead, they shot 
their more unpopular officers. 
The Volynski regiment, sent 
to coerce them, joined in the 
mutiny. The united forces 
swept down on the Arsenal, 
and after a short resistance 
carried the place, and provided 
the revolutionists with muni- 
tions of war. Then began a 
day of sheer chaos. Soldiers 
having no plans, drifted from 
quarter to quarter, intoxicated 
with their new freedom, but 
still maintained a semblance 
of discipline. There was no 
looting, and little drunken- 
ness. No leader appeared. A 

force of SOme 25,000 men Russian Duma at the time of the 

, , n overthrow of the Czar's govern- 

moved about from Street tO ment . H e became head of the 

Street. Headquarters of the provisional government established 

,, , afterward 

autocracy fell one by one. At 

11 A.M. the Courts of Law were on fire, then various prisons 
were stormed, and a host of political prisoners, as well as 
ordinary criminals, released. In the afternoon the great 
fortress of SS. Peter and Paul surrendered. All day nests 
of secret police were smoked out, the chief office raided, and 
the papers which it contained burned in the street. The 
Bastile of the old regime in Russia had fallen in a revolu- 

About midday came news that the Emperor had wired the 
Minister of War that he was going to Petrograd. He had 

Rodzianko was President of the 

V. VII 18 



appointed General Ivanov to supreme command of tho Army, 
and troops were coming from the Northern Front to quell 
the rising. In the afternoon the Duma, in secret, chose an 
Executive Committee of twelve men as a Provisional Govern- 
ment. Outside its walls another committee was formed of 
workmen and social revolutionaries who speedily obtained 
great influence over the troops pouring into Petrograd. Close 
on midnight a shabby man in a dirty fur overcoat spoke to 
one of the Duma guards. "Take me," he said, "to the 
Committee of the Duma. I surrender myself voluntarily, 
for I seek only the welfare of our country. My name is 

The Emperor to the vast majority was still sovereign and 
father. On Wednesday, the 14th, he was going to Petrograd. 
Ivanov, whom he regarded as the bulwark of his throne, 
with a battalion composed of Knights of St. George, were 
to take command of troops in the capital. Ivanov never 
reached the city. His train came within a few stations of 
Tsarkoe Selo, where it was held up; and, after wandering 
aimlessly for some time up and down the line, he received 
instructions from General Ruzsky to return to Pckov. The 
same fate befell Ivanov 's master. On the 14th he tried to 
reach Petrograd; but he got no farther than the little sta- 
tion of Bologoi, where workmen had pulled up the track, 
and he was compelled to return to Pckov. At 2 A.M. on the 
morning of the 15th he sent for Ruzsky, and told him: "I 
have decided to give way, and grant a responsible Ministry. 
What is your view?" The manifesto, already signed, lay 
on the table. Ruzsky advised him to get in touch with 
Rodzianko and himself telephoned to the Duma in Petrograd 
and to the other generals. The replies he received made it 
clear that there was no other course than abdication, and 
at 10 A.M. he made his report to the Emperor. 

Late on the night of Thursday, the 15th, a deputation, led 
by Vladimir Lvoff, and including Kerensky, sought out the 
Grand Duke Michael and informed him that the people 
demanded that he should renounce the Regency, and relegate 
all powers to the Provisional Government until a Constituent 
Assembly should decide upon the future. The Grand Duke 
bowed to fate, and on the morning of Friday, 16th, there 



was 'issued a declaration in his name which rang the knell 
of the Romanoff dynasty. The sacred monarchy had disap- 
peared, the strongholds of reaction had been obliterated as 
if by a sponge, and agitators, but lately lurking in dens and 
corners and dreading the sight of a soldier, were now leading 
regiments of Guards under the red flag and dictating their 
terms to grand dukes and princes. 

The fall of the Emperor was received among the Allies 
with mixed feelings. Even those who warmly acclaimed the 
revolution, and recognized the hopeless inadequacy of his 
rule, could not view without some natural regret the fate 
of a man who, since the first day of the war had been scrup- 
ulously loyal to the Alliance; who, as was proved by his 
creation of the Hague conferences, had had generous and 
far-sighted ideals; and who, on the admission of all who 
knew him, was in character mild, courteous and humane. 
A stronger man than Nicholas might have established an 
efficient autocracy with the complete assent of his people; 
a wiser man could have transformed Tsardom into a consti- 
tutional kingship. Nicholas wavered between the two, and 
was incapable of the sustained intellectual effort necessary 
to follow either course. His sympathies were, on the whole, 
liberal; but he was easily swayed by his entourage, and 
especially by his wife. He did not blunder from lack of 
warning. The Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovitch had told 
him the truth the preceding Christmas and was banished 
for his pains. 

The worst influence was attributed to the wife, whom he 
deeply loved. She was possest of firm ideas about divine 
right, and her one object in life was to hand on the Russian 
crown to her son with no atom of its power and glory 
diminished. Her shallow mind, played upon by every wind of 
superstition, was incapable of distinguishing true men from 
false, or of discerning the best means of realizing her am- 
bitions. In the end she had surrounded herself and her 
husband with charlatans. The revolution succeeded not so 
much because it was well planned and brilliantly led, as 
because there was so little opposition. It triumphed in a 
week, and at a cost of human life in that week far lower 
than any other movement of the same magnitude had ever 



produced. What happened was a coup d'etat, supported by 
nearly all the troops, and such strokes are usually swift and 
bloodless. It was not till March 18, that any connected 
narrative of events appeared in the Russian press, and not 
till March 21 that something was learned by the outer world 
of the events that led to the revolution. 

The revolution broke out almost simultaneously in Petro- 
grad and Moscow. Kronstadt, the fortress and seaport at 
the head of the Gulf of Finland, twenty miles west of 
Petrograd, soon joined the movement. The spark ignited in 
Petrograd carried enthusiasm over all Russia. In Moscow 
Cossacks who formerly had attempted to ride down people 
in the celebrated Red Square beneath the gray old walls 
of the Kremlin, now, when their intended victims made 
known news of a coup d'etat in Petrograd, leapt off their 
horses and joined in huzzas for the new Government. The revo- 
lution in Moscow had cost at first only four lives. By evening 
of March 12 the last supporters of the Czar in the capital 
had been holding out in two small groups, one firing from 
behind barricades around the Admiralty buildings overlook- 
ing the Neva, the other sniping stubbornly from windows 
and roof of the Astoria Hotel at men who sent back a hotter 
fire from such scant cover as could be found in the square 
south of St. Isaac's Cathedral. Later in the evening, when 
the revolutionaries broke into the Astoria Hotel, which had 
been considered a hot-bed of pro-German intrigue since the 
beginning of the war, the last organized resistance from 
loyalists was broken. For two days longer there was sniping. 

Resistance to the revolution in Petrograd lasted not more 
than four days. Long before that time had expired, the 
streets were filled with civilians and soldiers flaunting the 
red flag and singing the "Marseillaise." With a few ex- 
ceptions, the army and navy of Russia stood loyal to the 
revolution from the first. One of the first acts of the new 
Government was to pledge Russia's allegiance to the cause 
of the Allies and her unswerving determination to prosecute 
the war against Germany to a finish. The war had made 
the revolution possible. It had taught the people their 
own strength. United from the outset in determination to 
defeat Germany, because they realized that a war against 



Germany was a war against their own oppressive Govern- 
ment, the people had gradually come to know their powers 
as they had been forced to take over the management of the 
war through their provincial assemblies and co-operative 
societies after their inefficient and corrupt Imperial Gov- 
ernment had dropt the burden. Without so long a war, a 
war which had killed off so many old professional soldiers 
loyal to the bureaucracy, Russia never would have had new 
soldiers ready to side with the people in a national crisis. 
On March 21 an order was issued for the arrest of the 


Here the Czar and Czarina were held under arrest before they were 
transported to Siberia 

former Emperor and Empress. General Alexieff was charged 
with the duty of guarding them until members of the Duma 
could arrive with an escort and take them to Tsarskoe Selo. 
After signing the decree of abdication in Pskoff, Nicholas 
had returned to headquarters, to say farewell to the army. 
Wild rumors spread that he had gone to his estate of 
Lavidia, in the Crimea. On all sides the question was asked, 
"Why is he allowed to travel about Russia at will?" It 
was feared that he might use his opportunities in attempts 



to recover the crown. In view of this popular excitement 
it became evident that steps must be taken to secure the 
safety of him and his family on the one hand, and on the 
other hand to prevent monarchist agitation. 

The arrest and the journey to Tsarskoe Selo were replete 
with dramatic incidents. Four Duma commissioners boarded 
the Czar's train at Moghilef, after the Dowager Empress, 
his mother, had bade him an affectionate farewell. A large 
crowd stood silent outside offering no demonstration. "I 
am ready to go anywhere and submit to any decision," said 
the Czar to General Alexieff when informed that the Com- 
missioners were waiting. After finishing his morning cup 
of coffee in the dining-saloon of the train, he bade farewell 
to his servants and suite, all of whom kissed him on the 
shoulder with every mark of affection and esteem. "I thank 
you all for your services," he said, " Au Revoir!" When 
the train arrived at Tsarskoe Selo, he stept out on the plat- 
form calmly, but looking haggard and tired and wearing a 
Cossack uniform of purple with a dagger at his belt, his 
only decoration the Order of St. George. Entering a 
waiting motor-car he was carried to the palace from the 
station, from which the public had been excluded. In the 
custody of four members of the Duma he was turned over to 
the Tsarskoe Selo commander and taken to the Alexan- 
drovsky palace, where the former Empress Alexandra al- 
ready had been interned. On leaving the train, Nicholas 
had entered an automobile, accompanied by the four Com- 
missioners and by his adjutant, Prince Dolgorukoff, the only 
courtier of the first rank who accompanied him. He was 
met at the door of the left wing of the palace by Count Ben- 
kendorff , who was his marshal of the court, and was now under 
arrest. Nicholas held himself erect, looking calm and indif- 
ferent, altho he stept from the automobile with nervous haste. 

The palace lies in a large park, surrounded by a plain 
spiked fence, five feet high, coated with silver paint. From 
a corner near an old palace the new palace is partly visible 
through a thick wood, the chief facade, facing the north, 
being entirely in view. No Imperial standard now floated 
from its roof. Within the park, over a broad expanse of 
snow, not a person was visible. Apparently there were no 



guards within the park, but outside the fence, every fifty 
yards along the roadway, were double sentries from the 
Petrograd Regiment in long blue coats, with fixt bayonets. 
An astonishing circumstance, in view of the former relations 
of Nicholas with the population of Tsarskoe Selo, which 
lived entirely upon Imperial favor, was the lack of public 
interest in his arrival. During a drive of three miles 
alongside of the palace fence a correspondent saw no civil- 
ians, and, with the exception of guards, saw only two of 
the gigantic black-bearded Caucasians of the famous "Con- 
voy of his Majesty," who, now fallen from fevor and 
destined to be sent to the front, were allowed fro peer 
through the fence. When Nicholas arrived, all fir-e of his 
children were in bed with the measles. Alexandra had not 
been outside the palace walls for two days.. In a room on 
the first floor were seventy persons in civilian dress,, for- 
merly palace spies and provocative agents. Here w'3re also 
four Russian officers with German names who had been 
arrested on suspicion of having sent communications from 
the former Empress to Berlin by way of Stockholm. In a 
neighboring room sat the director of the Tsar?koe Lyceum, 
who was a general in the army and had been a close friend 
of Rasputin. 

Not since August, 1914, had anything come out of Europe 
to stir the pulse and fire the imagination like this news 
from Russia. Wherever there were men of liberal minds, 
wherever belief in Democracy prevailed, people were rejoic- 
ing that the Russian autocrat, disgraced by innumerable 
cruelties and massacres during his reign, had been driven 
from his throne, and with him a whole band of pro-German 
intriguers. One had to go back at least to 1848, when Europe 
was seething in revolt, to parallel the thrill that this news 
brought to struggling men everywhere. To the ends of the 
earth the thrill penetrated. It was the first visible sign of 
that extension of Democracy in the world which had to come 
if civilization was to profit by the unparalleled bloodshed of 
this world-war. Men who had dreaded a German victory in 
the sense that they foared the triumph of the ideas of 
Bernhardi and Trietschke, believed they could now sleep in 
peace. The happenings of four days had made it clear that 



there could be no alliance between the new Russia and the 
Germany of the Kaiser until Germany began to free herself 
from the imperialistic hindrances to her destiny. 

It was at once widely conjectured that the effect of the 
revolution on the German people would be tremendous. 
Germany had been taught to believe that the war was in- 
augurated by Russia for aggressive purposes. Germany's 
democratic leaders repeatedly had pointed to Czarism as the 
evil spirit dominating the Entente, and the object of the Cen- 
tral Powers was proclaimed to be the overthrow of the 
Russian autocratic menace. Now that Russia herself had 
removed the menace, Germany was likely to be profoundly 
moved. Her greatest disillusionment since the war began 
might occur. Indeed the dawn of Democracy in Germany 
seemed at once foreshadowed in those very days by a speech 
from Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg in the Prussian Diet. 

According to the Reinische-Westfalische Zeitung of Essen, 
the speech was evoked by a demonstration from the 
Socialist members of the Diet against the composition of the 
Herrenhaus, or Prussian House of Nobles, the membership 
of which was anything but democratic. Entering the House 
during the course of a debate, the Chancellor made an un- 
premeditated speech in which he stated that: "After the 
war we shall be confronted with" the most gigantic tasks that 
ever confronted a nation." They would be so gigantic that 
''the entire people would have to work to solve them." A 
strong foreign 4 policy would be necessary, "for we shall be 
surrounded by enemies whom we must meet not with loud 
words, but rather with the internal strength of the nation." 
Germany could only pursue such a policy if the patriotism 
which during the war had "developed to such a marvelous 
reality, was maintained and strengthened." He added that 
the maintenance of patriotism could be secured only by 
granting the people in general "equal co-operation in the 
administration of the Empire," and then proceeded: "Woe 
to the statesman who does not recognize the signs of the 
times and who, after this catastrophe, the like of which the 
world has never seen, believes that he can take up his 
work at the same point at which it was interrupted." 

The effect of this speech in Germany was electric. "With 



the exception of the ultra-Conservative and. militaristic Ber- 
lin Kreuzzeitung , German papers generally exprest approval 
of it. A dispatch from Berlin to the Copenhagen Nation 
Tidncde said the speech had "made a tremendous impression 
throughout Germany." Such an answer to the Diet's atti- 
tude was "entirely unexpected." Taken a's a whole the 
incident "had the character of a great political demonstra- 
tion." What made the greatest impression was "the firm- 
ness with which the Chancellor declared that he would 
carry through his new policy against every opposition." 
Liberals, members of the Central Party, and Independent 
Conservatives, stood on their feet while he was speaking and 
interrupted him repeatedly with prolonged applause. 
Scarcely more than eighteen months afterwards the storm 
broke over Germany, and the Kaiser was a fugitive in 
Holland, from which six months later he was sending to the 
new German Government for money with which to pay his 
board-bills at Amerongen. 

It was right and fitting that the first formal recognition 
of the new-born Russian Government should come from the 
United States which embodied the first large-scale experiment 
in Democracy of modern times. The American people had 
been better qualified than any other to understand the aspir- 
ations of the Russian people, just as they were specially 
qualified to understand the evil nature of the system which 
the Russian people had shaken off. Mr. Wilson seemed to 
have been speaking with prophetic vision when he told 
Congress two months before that there could be no lasting 
peace "which does not recognize and accept the principle 
that governments derive all their just powers from the con- 
sent of the governed, and that no right exists anywhere to 
hand people about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they 
were property." The Russian revolution had affirmed both 
these contentions. At the same time that it made an asser- 
tion of Democracy, it made a protest against the machina- 
tions of a court camarilla which had sought to make a 
separate peace with Germany, that involved the surrender 
of large sections of Russia. Soon afterward British, French, 
and Italian Ambassadors in Petrograd called on the Minister 
of Foreign Affairs and formally extended the official recogni- 



tion of their Governments to the new Russian Government. 
Travelers arriving in Copenhagen from various parts of 
Russia gave glowing reports of the success that had been 
achieved by the new Government within a fortnight of the 
overthrow of the old. The greater part of the Russian peo- 
ple, they said, favored a republic and favored a vigorous 
prosecution of the war. All Russia, including Finland, 
Turkestan, the Caucacus and Siberia had declared its ad- 
herence to the revolution. 

After the fall of the Czar, the Petrograd press, no longer 
under the strict censorship of the old regime, published facts 
hitherto supprest in regard to the assassination of Gregory 
Rasputin. While the whole nation was breathing a sigh of 
relief at deliverance from the monk's malign influence, the 
imperial family had been laying away his remains with 
great reverence and pomp at Tsarskoe Selo, after his body 
was recovered from the Neva. It had been taken to Tsarskoe 
Selo in the imperial car, in which rode M. Protopopoff and 
General Voyekoff. At the palace a funeral ceremony was 
held in the imperial chapel. In a silver coffin the body was 
carried to its resting place by the Emperor, M. Protopopoff, 
General Voyekoff, and others, followed by the Empress in 
deep mourning. The affair caused a great scandal at the 
time and further inflamed the people against the Empress. 

It should be kept in mind that almost at the beginning of 
the war the supply and commissariat departments of the 
Russian army and navy broke down with great promptness 
the first time any unusual strain was made upon them for 
supplying the needs of the mobilized millions of troops. 
Rail transportation, at no time of the best in Russia, began 
slowly to grow worse and worse, until finally the only way 
in which supplies could be brought to Petrograd and Mos- 
cow from other places, in quantities sufficient to feed the 
populations of those cities, was by suspending for weeks at 
a time the passenger traffic and turning the lines entirely 
over to the freight trains. There has never been any scar- 
city of food in Russia. The cessation of exports, owing to 
the closing of export shipping through the Black Sea, on 
the Danube, and through the Baltic, left in the country 
millions of bushels of grain which ordinarily would have 



gone to Europe. This, added to a succession of good 
harvests in nearly all the more important crops, had given 
the country plenty of foodstuffs. The only problem had 
been to get them from the places where they were grown 
to the places where they could be eaten. Another reason 
for shortage in certain places was a lack of common sense 
on the part of local military authorities. There were large 
accumulations of grain in some provinces, and these were 
more than enough for the needs of the people of adjacent 
districts where there had been some partial failure of crops. 
In a country as large as the Russian Empire, it had always 
been impossible to manage transportation problems as in the 
rest of Europe. In war-time the constantly increasing num- 
ber of fronts and the necessity of keeping these fronts sup- 
plied with men, food and munitions, and the further neces- 
sity of taking away from the fronts hundreds of thousands 
of German and Austrian war prisoners besides the Russian 
wounded, some of whom could be transferred only after six 
weeks or more of travel by rail, occasioned a hopeless paraly- 
sis of the railway system. 

Penetrating into and under the vast prison-like palace 
of the deposed Emperor, a correspondent of the Associated 
Press on March 26 obtained from the jailer a statement of 
the former Emperor's condition, and visited the desecrated 
grave of Gregory Rasputin. He was told that Nicholas was 
in all respects a prisoner and treated accordingly, that he 
was in perfectly good health and in fairly good spirits, 
except when alone, or with his own entourage, when he had 
"fits of crying." He was no longer allowed in the park; 
but twice daily, between eleven and three o'clock, was per- 
mitted to walk for recreation in the railed garden between 
the east and west wings of the palace. Outside the railing 
were six soldiers, constituting the so-called intermediate 
guard, another guard being within the palace walls. His 
chief serious occupation in the first week after the revolu- 
tion was shovelling snow. He showed boyish interest in 
what was said and written about him, and did not resent 
abuse. The former Empress physically was in better health 
than before. Her real malady was not of the nerves, but of 
the heart. She was unable to walk any distance and was 



carried in a chair, even when going from her own suite to 
her children 's rooms. 

The correspondent 2 visited Rasputin's -burial-place "on the 
edge of a ravine beyond a desolate and roadless plain, cov- 
ered with deep snow." It was surrounded by an unfinished 
log chapel, which adherents of the dead impostor monk, with 
monetary assistance from the former Empress, had planned 
to raise over his remains. Beside the chapel nave were half 
a dozen tiny cells for pilgrims. In the ground was seen 
a ten-foot hole from which revolutionaries had disinterred 
the body. The chapel was filled with soldiers, some of whom 
were inscribing ribald remarks on the walls. One of these 
read: "Here lay Rasputin; foulest of men, the shame of 
the Russian Church." As the correspondent was reading 
the inscriptions, he heard loud shouts, and looking down 
into an open grave saw there a little brown Siberian soldier on 
his haunches doing the Russian squat dance. Soldiers told 
the correspondent that someone had offered a large sum 
to the guards if they would have the grave covered so as to 
prevent its further desecration. After disinterment the 
body had been hidden in the private apartments of the 
deposed Czarina at Tsarskoe Selo. On its silver casket were 
found engraved the names of the Czarina and her four 
daughters. Soldiers in searching the palace found the body 
in a locked room which the former Empress had asked them 
not to enter as it contained "some silver mementoes and 
jewels." Army officers had ordered the body removed for 
burial. One report was that they burned it. For several 
days afterward the empty silver casket lay in the freight 
station and later on in a freight car on a siding, where it 
long stood unguarded. The Czarina was wearing deep 
mourning for Rasputin. 

It had long been a commonplace to predict that the war 
would bring great political changes in .Europe. But they 
were believed to be now in sight on a vaster scale than any- 
body had dared to prophesy. The old order was breaking up 
under men's eyes. More and more openly men were saying 
that king-craft, with the statesmanship which served it, 
had written its own doom. It was more than the dawn of 

2 Of the Associated Press. 



freedom we were witnessing in Russia; it was the full sun. 
Not all the swift succession of emotional crises which the 
world had experienced in three years of war could steel 
men to the poignancy of the picture of numberless victims 
of Czarism streaming forth in March and April from Siberia 
westward toward home, liberty, and a new life. From 
prisons, convict-hospitals and settlements, from frozen vil- 
lages on the Arctic steppes, these hapless pioneers of free- 
dom, the youth, conscience and aspiration of Russia, had 
been called back to the realization of a great dream, to take 
their places in the upbuilding of a new nation by the side 
of their comrades from the dungeons of St. Peter and St. 
Paul. Not even in the French Revolution was there such 
swift and complete adjustment. Fifty thousand sledges car- 
rying victims of the old regime back to freedom were 
speeding in an endless chain across the snows toward the 
nearest points on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Their pas- 
sengers ranged from members of old terrorist societies to 
exiles who had been banished without trial or specified 
offenses. It was a race against time as the spring thaw was 
imminent and the roads, even in the coldest settlements of 
the lower Lena, would soon be impassable. Exiles who did 
not reach the railroad within a fortnight would have to 
wait six weeks or two months until the ice melted and the 
river navigation began. 

By the end of March the liberation of Siberia's prisoners 
had barely begun. West of the Urals only a handful of re- 
turning exiles had yet been seen. The first large party on 
reaching Ekaterinburg consisted of 150 political convicts 
and administrative exiles, including twenty members of the 
Jewish revolutionary band, mostly from the Vorkholensk 
district, west of Lake Baikal. The exiles were traveling in 
special cars, and had been on the road continuously from 
March 24, five days after they first heard of the revolution. 
The cars were met by a vast crowd at the railroad station, 
which cheered them tumultuously. The returning exiles 
were in a deplorable physical condition, shaggy, uncouth, 
unwashed, and extremely emaciated. Many were crippled 
with rheumatism. Two had lost hands and feet from frost 
bites, and one, who attempted flight a week before the revo- 



lution, had been shot in the leg when recaptured and was 
lying in a prison hospital when he learned that the revolu- 
tion had made him free. The exiles had an extraordinary 
variety of incongruous garb. Some wore new costumes 
which had been supplied by sympathizers along their route, 
some had handsome fur overcoats covering hideous jail- 

Among the men who wore the latter costume was a 
young millionaire aristocrat from Odessa who had been 
sentenced to life ten years before for fomenting a revolu- 
tionary mutiny in the Black Sea Fleet. Others of the party 
wore shaggy sheep- or wolf-skins as a protection against the 
bitter Siberian blasts. One man from the Irkutsk city jail 
wore the gold braided uniform tunic of the dismissed Gov- 
ernor of Irkutsk under a ragged and greasy overcoat. The 
president of the Exile Reception Committee estimated that 
there were about 100,000 persons in Siberia who had been 
released under the amnesty measure of the Provisional Gov- 
ernment. This number comprised political offenders, includ- 
ing terrorists convicted after trial, persons suspected of fur- 
thering revolutionary propaganda and exiled without trial 
by order of the Secret Police, or the Minister of the Interior, 
and tens of thousands of peasants exiled without trial by 
decrees of village communal councils. Many of the latter 
expected to remain in Siberia voluntarily, where the condi- 
tions of life and work would be excellent under the reform 

The practical confiscation of the Czar's estate left him a 
comparatively poor man. Within less than a month after his 
abdication, he had to ask for an appropriation to cover the 
family's immediate wants. As "Autocrat of All the Rus- 
sians" he had possest two-fifths of the registered lands in 
Russia, amounting to 400,000,000 acres in European Russia. 
The revenues from them were enormous. In the Czar's 
name stood titles to a hundred grand palaces and innumer- 
able churches, convents, houses, farms, mines, manufactories 
and forests. Some idea of his wealth, in addition to the 
$8,000,000 annual civil list, could be gained by recalling the 
fact that the small army of Grand Dukes and Grand 
Duchesses whom he maintained were notorious in all the 



fashionable resorts of the world as reckless spendthrifts. His 
vast estates had now fallen to the State, so that his private 
fortune probably did not amount to niore than $500,000 in 
cash and securities. His wife had about $550,000. Their 
twelve-year-old son, Alexis, was much richer than either 
parent, as his allowance had not been used up. He was 
thought to have saved about $2,750,000. The fortunes of 
his sisters were estimated as: Olga, $1,750.000; Tatiana, 
$2,000,000; Maria, $1,850,000; Anastasia, $1,650,000. 

The victims of the revolution in Petrograd were solemnly 
buried on April 5 in the historic Field of Mars. As the 
coffins, draped in scarlet bunting, were lowered, one by one, 
into an enormous grave in a corner of the field, a series of 
salutes one for each victim boomed across the ice-bound 
Neva from the fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul, where the 
last Ministers of the fallen empire were still confined. Reg- 
imental bands flanked the square field and thousands of 
persons with bared heads joined in a mass for the revolu- 
tionary dead. The somber .aspect of the city was relieved 
by innumerable flags and streamers of flaming red, some 
few of which were edged with black bands of mourning. 
Banners of every description, bearing familiar devices of the 
new republic, were carried by each unit in the procession, 
which gathered from every quarter of the c'ty to march to 
the burial ground. Each column bore the bodies of victims 
who had lived in their district. 

The tremendous funeral cortege wound its way through a 
city almost empty of spectators. Apparently every woman 
and child able to walk was marching in the procession. 
Perfect order prevailed. Except for the muffled tolling of 
church bells, dirges played by military bands and slow mel- 
ancholy chants, the procession proceeded in complete silence. 
One hundred soldiers from each regiment engaged in the 
revolution took part in the procession. Girl students from 
universities formed an enormous brigade, which marched 
down the Nevsky Prospect at the side of a company of 
workingmen and was followed by a long column of peasant 
women and servants, with detachments of officers and sol- 
diers bringing up the rear. The same spirit of quiet rever- 
ence dominated all as they united in dirges and strode side 



The forest in which he is seen is part of the Tsarskoe Selo Imperial estate, 
where he was confined before he was taken to Siberia 

V. VII 19 



by side to the burial-field. Grim with the memory of the 
recent struggle, but inspired with new hope, it was a strange 
army of pale-faced black-garbed people which took its 
solemn course through the city. One after another the 
columns bearing scarlet coffins reached the burial-ground. 
Each stopt a moment while the burial-ceremony was taking 
place and then passed on in silence over the adjoining bridge. 
Early in the afternoon when the last group reached the field, 
180 bodies had been interred. 

Nicholas became to all appearances a model prisoner, en- 
tirely contented with his lot. He continued his regime of 
early rising and plenty of walking, as followed when auto- 
crat, and uttered no word of complaint at his treatment. 
He spent the greater part of his time in the garden. During 
Sunday's services in the chapel the first one to kneel when 
prayers were offered for the Provisional Government was 

After the revolution had sent its shock through Europe, 
the world had many assurances from German sources that 
there was and could be no revolutionary spirit in Germany. 
The Germans, we were told, wer.e convinced monarchists, 
nine-tenths of them. They were satisfied with their govern- 
ment and the Kaiser was the most popular man in Germany. 
If there should emerge a German republic, he would be 
elected President by an overwhelming vote. Nevertheless 
the new spirit and the rising popular demands were such 
that the Kaiser himself was forced in April to make conces- 
sions. Electoral reform in Prussia, which he and his Gov- 
ernment and the privileged classes had fought for years, he 
now declared to be "near his heart," and made solemn 
pledges to abolish the antiquated Prussian franchise. The 
result was a burst of free political discussion in the German 
press and among public men which was fairly bewildering. 
Conservatives were stunned. They seemed to fear that the 
Kaiser had entered upon a glissade which could end only in 
the destruction of all the institutions they had cherished. 
Liberal newspapers accepted, in general, the Kaiser's prom- 
ises with joy, but only as a payment on account. They 
made it evident that nothing would satisfy them except a 
responsible Government a Ministry that was answerable to 



the Reichstag. Maximilian Harden issued an Easter pro- 
nunciamento in which he declared that it was for Germany 
to remodel her monarchy on the line of the English system, 
which might not be a revolution, but it would certainly seem 
so to the Prussian Junkerdom. 

Catherine Breshkovskaya, "Grandmother, of the Russian 
Revolution," arrived in Mos- 
cow on April 5 from Minusink, 
Siberia, after having spent 
forty-four of her seventy-three 
years there as a convict, 
prisoner and exile. She had 
an enthusiastic welcome. In a 
speech she made a moving ap- 
peal for -books and educational 
facilities for the masses. Sol- 
diers and members of the com- 
mittee carried her into the 
street after the meeting. 
Madame Breshkovskaya was 
first imprisoned in the seventies 
as a member of the Terrorist 
Society called "Land and 
Freedom." She was dragged 
from prison to prison, from 
convict settlement to convict 
settlement, until, as she ob- 
served, she "knew the in- 
teriors of thirty prisons as in- 
timately as a monk knows his 
cell." Twice she escaped and 
finally was freed after the revolt which took place during 
the war with Japan. Later she was denounced by a police 
spy and again sent into exile. 

Against a 'background mass of scarlet tulips, symbol of 
the revolution, one of the most poignant and dramatic events 
of the new Russia was staged in the second week of April 
when Madame Breshkovskaya was more formally welcomed 
home. It was no ordinary welcome. It was even more than 
a state affair. It was an epitome of the fall of the Romanoff 



Madame Breshkovskaya has been 
familiarly known as "The Grand- 
mother of the Russian Revolution." 
After the revolution, she was re- 
leased from exile in Siberia, where 
she had spent much of her life as 
a prisoner. She was 73 years old 
at the time of her release. Her 
father was a Russian nobleman 


dynasty and the resurrection of the masses. Madame Bresh- 
kovskaya was received in the imperial chambers of the 
Nikolaievsk railway-station, reserved under the old regime 
for personages of royal blood. A government delegation, 
headed- by Minister of Justice Kerensky, was present to 
welcome the aged -heroine of the long struggle. But this 
welcome was almost swallowed up in a surging mass of 
sweeping and shouting ex-terrorists, reformed bomb-throwers, 

Nihilists without a present oc- 
cupation and unshackled politi- 
cal convicts. Democrats, Re- 
publicans, Socialists and 
''Reds" of the most extreme 
type packed the vast drawing- 
room where great monarchs 
had met and empresses had 
waited. The contrast was not 
lost on the crowd; in fact, it 
was Minister Kerensky 's de- 
liberate plan to emphasize it. 
The walls of the room were 
banked with flowers, big floral 
pieces and baskets inscribed 
"To Our Dear Grandmother," 
"To The Queen of The Peo- 
ple," "To Russia's Martyr 
Heroine." It seemed as if the 
entire city had turned out to 
welcome the old woman. It 
was an emotional crowd, chanting "The Marseillaise" with a 
religious fervor and everywhere waving the red flag. 

On August 19 it was officially announced that a new resi- 
dence for the deposed Emperor had been fixed at Tobolsk, 
a western Siberia town, which achieved new publicity in 
revolutionary Russia as the birthplace of Gregory Rasputin, 
the mystic monk. With him went his wife and their children 
of their own free will and certain of their entourage. The 
family was to reside permanently, in the former Governor's 
palace at Tobolsk, which is a large house with modern im- 



Protopopoff was the organizer of 
Petrograd's police force under the 
old regime, and as Minister of the 
Interior had made a surrender to 
the Duma 


provements, but built in the eighteenth century for a local 
speculator. Nicholas spent one night there in 1891, when re- 
turning from his visit to the Far East. Other reports were 
that the former Emperor would stay at the ex-Governor's 
palace only one week, and then would be sent to the Apalatsk 
Monastery in a forest twenty miles outside the town. 
Tolobsk was by an irony of fate associated with the system 
of political exile inaugurated by the Romanoff dynasty. 
News came from Petrograd on May 24, that Madame 
Anne Virubova, lady-in-waiting to the former Czarina and 
the right-hand associate of Rasputin, had been transferred 
from Tsarskoe Selo, where she had been confined with the 
former Czar and his family, to the fortress of St. Peter and 
St. Paul in Petrograd. It was Madame Virubova who had 
collaborated with Rasputin in his machinations to keep the 
Czarina constantly under his influence, who had drugged 
the Czarevitch whenever Rasputin was forced out of court 
by his enemies, so that the monk's departure would be ac- 
companied by visible effects on the health of young Alexis, 
and then the Czarina would immediately request the return 
of the monk, and believe in the imposter more than 
ever. About this time the former Minister of the Interior, 
Protopopoff, who had become the leader of the court cam- 
arilla after the death of Rasputin, was subjected to a 
thorough examination by the commission appointed by the 
Provisional Government to investigate the activities of the 
"dark forces." The examination lasted more than five 
hours and took place in the fortress of St. Peter and St. 
Paul. When he complained of the rigid regime imposed on 
him in the jail, he was told that he ought to get used to 
the thought that he was no longer a minister, and to bear in 
mind that during his career in office he had subjected thou- 
sands of Russians to a similar punishment. 3 

3 Principal Sources : Articles in The Outlook by George Kennan and others. 
The Evening Post, The Journal of Commerce, The Times, New York; Asso- 
ciated Press and United Press dispatches, and especially "Nelson's History of 
the War," by John Buchan. 







Farthest Russian Advance 
Farthest Russian Retreat 

Austria-Hungary Armies thus: II A..II 

Russian Armies thus: 







May, 1917 August, 1917 

THUS, to all outward appearances, had ended in success 
this extraordinary political upheaval, the people con- 
tented with it and the new Government, for the time at 
least, in the saddle. The real revolution in all its horrors 
was yet to come. Before the end of April, Russia began 
to loom up as a portentous obstacle to an early ending of 
the war in a way favorable to the Entente Powers a far 
from satisfactory relation having grown up between the 
Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Deputies and the Pro- 
visional Government, composed of men who were known as 
constitutionalists, who realized that Russia was in the throes 
of a great war, and that some kind of stable administration 
was needed without delay. Their following lay among the 
professional classes, business men, country gentry, and the 
bourgeois, the best element in Russia. 

They alone in Russia had any understanding of for- 
eign politics and of the main problems of the war. In 
them, in fact, reposed all of such limited store of adminis- 
trative experience as the country possest. Worthy, honest, 
and patriotic, it was they who had held aloft the banner 
of a reasonable freedom during the darkest days of the old 
regime; but they had failed in the past to achieve reform, 
and the memory of that failure still clung to them. They 
were not by nature makers of revolutions. They lacked the 
fiery appeal, the dynamic personality, which awes and at- 
tracts great masses. There was among them no Danton, no 
Camille Desmoulins; above all, no Mirabeau. Logical, capa- 
ble, and intensely respectable, they were also a little dull. 
They were wholly right in their perception of the needs of 



their country; but when an excited populace was clamoring 
for a new heaven and a new earth, it was not greatly at- 
tracted by a merely well conceived plan for stable govern- 
ment. Moreover, the blackness of the record of the old regime 
seemed to demand a sensational and violent reversal. 

The extremists of the Council of Workmen and Soldiers 
represented a far narrower class. They stood for the work- 
ing population of Petrograd, 
and in lesser degree for indus- 
trial Russia; but Russia was 
not a highly industrialized 
country, and the workmen 
were a mere handful compared 
with the many millions of 
Russia's peasantry. The rank 
and file were profoundly 
ignorant on all questions of 
government, and the leaders 
knew little more. Their strength 
lay in the fact that they 
preached a creed which was 
the antithesis of all that had 
gone before, and which com- 
bined ideals that made at once 
appeals to a narrow class- 
interest and to the generous 
Leader of the Constitutional Demo- and imaginative side of the 

orats in the Duma and Foreign r> j mi. 

Minister of the provisional goV- Russian mind. Their organi- 

ernment formed after the over- zation Was made Up of tWO 
throw of the Imperial Power. Pro- ,. . . . i -r\ 

fessor Miliukoff at one time was divisions, the bOCial DemO- 

a professor la the University of cra t s and a limited number 

of Social Revolutionaries. 

While they represented only a fraction of Russia, 
that fraction was in Petrograd, at the center of affairs, 
where it was vocal, while other sections were dumb. Many 
of its members were sensible men, who saw that victory in 
the war was essential in safeguarding their new won free- 
dom, and they had a wider outlook in political matters 
than the restricted interests of one class. But the best of 
them were ignorant and inexperienced in public affairs, and 





it is not easy for men who have long been compelled to work 
in the dark, to come suddenly into the full glare of respon- 
sibility and then act normally. Some were beyond doubt in 
German pay, but the majority were as honest as they were 

By the second week in May the Entente world was 
startled _ by news of resignations in high places, including 
Paul Miliukoff, the Foreign Minister, Generals Brusiloff 
and Gourko and the Minister of War and Marine, with rumors 
that the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Deputies had 
called for an armistice. Meanwhile, from the Baltic to the 
Danubian region of Roumania, Russian and Teutonic forces 
continued almost inactive in their trenches. Only spasmodic 
exchanges of rifle-fire and here and there small reconnais- 
sances were reported. That Germany herself was seeking a 
separate peace with Russia in these circumstances, came to 
be generally suspected and later the fact was known. 

Thus, while both British and French, after Hindenberg's 
''victorious retreat," were advancing from Arras and the 
Aisne more rapidly than the year before in the Somme 
offensive, and along fronts about three times as broad, there 
remained as a subject of grave doubt this Russian situation. 
The question of the hour became how much the new turn 
of affairs would damage Franco-British efforts in France. 
For the time being the overturn of authority in Russia 
seemed to have diminished Russian fighting power more 
than any reverse that Russia had suffered in the field. That 
unfortunate country had lost not only its Czar but its best 
commanders, the Grand Duke Nicholas and General Ruzsky, 
and now its chief ministers of State and military com- 
manders had resigned. Worse still, it had cast off to a great 
extent the exercise of that authority which the Duma 
possest and should have maintained. A revolution at the 
outset may be the work of many; but its establishment is 
usually the task of one man a Caesar, a Cromwell, a 
Napoleon. Among the extremists there was no such man, 
for in the nature of things he could not have been extreme. 
While a master-mind may dream dreams and see visions, 
it must have an iron hand and a clear eye for realities. In 
the respectable circle of the Duma, which included states- 



men who were competent, honest, and even brilliant, one 
such man was lacking. , 

As the autumn advanced only one figure seemed to stand 
out from the others a young man. barely thirty-five, the son 
of a Siberian schoolmaster, hitherto an obscure Petrograd 
lawyer, and a somewhat flamboyant orator in labor circles. 
His haggard, white face and melancholy eyes showed his 
bodily frailty, and indeed he was one who walked very close 
to death. From the first day of the revolution, Alexander 
Kerensky had not wavered. Himself a Red Republican and 
an extreme Socialist, he seemed to recognize that a country 
could not be saved by ideals alone, and to gird himself for 
the rough work of construction. His fervent speeches had 
kept the new Provisional Government from being wrecked 
at the start. He had his way alike with elder statesmen 
of the Duma and firebrands and amateurs of the Workmen 's 
Council. He had the wild courage of one who lives always 
on the brink of the grave, the magnetism of a man who has 
one foot in the other world. Here, so at the moment it 
seemed, was a new "swallower of formulas" a second 
Mirabeau. Would he die, like Mirabeau, before he could 
guide the revolution right? Would he faint by the wayside, 
baffled by problems too great for mortal solution, and handi- 
capped by the trammels of his old environment? Or would 
he live to lead his people beyond the wilderness to the 
Promised Land? 

The opinion was strongly held in Germany that the Rus- 
sian armies were now out of it, at least for the campaign 
of 1917, that Hindenburg could crush their disorganized 
forces, if he so chose, but that it was better to let them 
alone. It was believed that revolutionary and Socialist fer- 
ment was still at work, that the soldiers would not fight, 
and that the Provisional Government might soon be forced 
to ask for a separate peace. Generous terms could well 
have been granted by Germany, for the sake of detaching 
Russia from the Allies, and to this end all the resources 
of German diplomacy and intrigue were for weeks drawn 
upon. Even Scheidemann, the Socialist, was made an agent 
of the Government and sent to Stockholm to confer with 
Russian delegates, to tell them that their only hope lay in 



an early and separate peace. How great were the expecta- 
tions pinned by Germany to this mission of Scheidemann 
could be inferred later from the abuse which was poured 
upon him by the German press when he returned with a 
confession of failure. Scheidemann, a little more than a 
year afterward, was to become Chancellor 0f a German 
republic, only to resign rather than accept the peace terms 
laid down by the Entente. 

There was historic warrant for the German hope that the 
Allies would not' stand united till the end of the war. 
Frederick II had been able to fight the Seven Years' War 
to a successful conclusion, only because of the jealousies of 
confederates arrayed against him. Singularly enough, it 
was Russia who then saved Frederick when his fortunes 
looked most desperate. In -the very year when Pitt's death 
had paved the way for a peace between England and France 
thus depriving Frederick of his English subsidies and of 
his only friend in Europe the Empress Elizabeth of Russia 
died and her successor, the ill-starred Peter, showed him- 
self at once intensely pro-Prussian, released his Prussian 
prisoners and actually sent 15,000 troops of his own to 
strengthen the shattered armies of Frederick. A peace on 
terms favorable to Prussia was thereafter soon concluded, 
so that Frederick was raised from the depths of despair 
and enabled to win the war all in consequence of the de- 
fection of Russia. Beyond all question the German Gov- 
ernment hoped that this bit of history would repeat itself 
in 1917. 

The discord that prevailed in Petrograd naturally found 
an echo everywhere at the front, but the war spirit of the 
soldiers recovered in time, altho slowly. The army as a 
fighting force had never actually been eliminated. Keren- 
sky's appointment as Minister of War was received in the 
army with great enthusiasm. So was the Government's 
declaration that Russia's defeat would be a great misfortune 
to all nations. While willing to make a general peace, the 
Government declared firmly that revolutionary Russia would 
not consent to the defeat of the Allies in the west. When 
the German Chancellor, Bethmann-Hollweg, made an offer 
of a separate peace to Russia on May 15, the "thunderous 



applause" that ensued in the Reichstag testified unmistak- 
ably as to Germany's great hope, through peace with Russia, 
to gain a partial victory from the war. When the answer 
of Revolutionary Russia to this offer was made known in 
a fairly complete form, it came from a reorganized Govern- 
ment determined on a continued prosecution of the war. At 
the same time Brusiloff and Gourko withdrew their resigna- 
tions and returned to the front. What that might mean was 
clear to those who recalled what Brusiloff had done a year 
before. Russians in London declared that the breakdown 
in their army discipline was only temporary and looked to 
Kerensky, who was young and energetic, to revitalize the 
force and inspire it to fresh deeds of valor. It was his in- 
fluence that induced Brusiloff and Gourko to reconsider 
their resignations and take an active part in another cam- 
paign. When at last conditions that "at one time threatened 
political dissolution were righted, it became possible to see 
with some clearness how they had been the natural con- 
comitants of a revolution. A change of government to the 
popular form called for a reorganization of the army. More 
than one hundred officers holding high commands at the 
front had to be relieved because too closely identified with 
the old regime. 

Brusiloff and Gourko now made strong appeals to their 
troops to stand firm and get ready for a new offensive. The 
sky cleared almost as rapidly as it had been obscured by 
storm clouds. Russia had weathered a tempest and the sun 
of liberty was out again. Alexieff, who had retained his 
post during the political storm, declared that under the new 
coalition Government it would be possible to conduct mili- 
tary affairs in an energetic manner, and it was the impera- 
tive duty of the Russian army to resume operations on the 
Dwina and in Galicia. The changes had been a natural 
reaction from the enthusiasm first created by the revolution. 
The revolution in itself was a thing so close to a miracle 
that men had looked for other miracles to follow. Over- 
night it was expected that a settled revolutionary govern- 
ment would take the place of the tyranny of a thousand 
years ; that the army 's allegiance to the throne would change 
without a jar into allegiance to the revolution; that men 




who had suffered in Siberia and the dungeons for fifty years 
would settle down into sweet, reasonableness once power 
suddenly became theirs. It seemed to be expected that a 
revolutionary army in Russia would turn upon the enemy 
much as revolutionary France turned on its enemies at 
Valmy. Men were disappointed because all this did not 
happen in two months, or in about the time New York had 
once taken to impeach a Governor, or investigate a traction 
company. Men forgot that Valmy did not come until two 
and a half years after the fall of the Bastile, and that the 
triumphant march of the armies of France into eastern 
Europe did not begin till two years after Valmy. 

Our Government at Washington in this emergency decided 
to send an Advisory Commission to Russia. Its personnel, 
announced on May 11, was as follows: Elihu Root of New 
York, Charles R. Crane of Illinois, John R. Mott of New 
York, Cyrus McCormick of Illinois, Samuel R. Bertron of 
New York, James Duncan of Massachusetts, Charles Edward 
Russell of New York, Major-General Hugh L. Scott, U. S. A., 
and Rear Admiral James H. Glennon, U. S. N. Mr. Root 
was to be "Ambassador Extraordinary on Special Mission," 
the others, except General Scott, "Envoys Extraordinary." 
Mr. Root was soon in Washington consulting with the State 
Department and receiving instructions from President Wil- 
son. One of the members of the mission, Mr. Crane, was al- 
ready in Russia, and had lived there in former years. The 
appointment of Mr. Russell, who was a pronounced Socialist, 
was a concession to the strong Socialistic feeling among 
many of those who had been responsible for the overthrow 
of the Russian monarchy. But Mr. Russell was not of the 
Socialist type which wanted a separate peace. General 
Scott, as Chief of the General Staff of the United States 
Army, was the directing head of the organization of the' 
military forces of the American nation. The object of the 
Mission was primarily political. Mr. Root and his associates 
were clothed with .broad authority, even with plenary pow- 
ers, with respect to some aspects of their work in Petrograd. 
The purpose of their going was to save Russia to the En- 
tente cause. Much .wa^ left to the decision of the Mission 
itself after reaching Petrograd. Mr. Root and his colleagues 



went prepared to deal with any form of authority which 
they might find in control when they arrived. 

Formal declaration was made by the new Russian Cabinet 
on May 19 that it was a unit against a separate peace with 
the Teutonic Powers. Kerensky, the new War Minister, 
declared that he intended to enforce discipline in the army, 
and was going to the fighting-line to make sure that the 
military forces would do their duty. The Provisional Gov- 
ernment adopted as its peace aim the re-establishmen-t of a 
general peace which would not tend to domination of other 
nations or to seizure of their national possessions a peace 
without annexations or indemnities. By May 31 Kerensky 
seemed to be successfully accomplishing his task of spurring 
Russia's soldiers to fight. At the front a new spirit of deter- 
mination was apparent after the minister made a whirlwind 
campaign, and, in a conference with officers and soldiers, 
made an impassioned plea that fighting men should give 
their lives to Russia, so that the fruits of the revolution 
might be secured. Every man rose to his feet after this 
speech, shouting, "We swear it!" and a tumultuous demon- 
stration followed in which Kerensky and Minister Thomas, 
of the French Munitions Department, who had been to the 
front with him, were borne from the meeting on the 
shoulders of soldiers. This new sentiment of patriotism in 
the army was soon reflected in Russia by a steady, sober 
undercurrent of feeling among all classes. 

On June 13 the American Mission, headed by Elihu Root, 
arrived in Petrograd and an American Railroad Commission, 
headed by John F. Stevens, about the same time. Mr. 
Stevens' commission had for its aim to assist the Russians 
in railroad affairs, by placing at their disposal America's 
technical skill and industrial resources. This commission 
also was strictly official. America delivered a new message 
to Russia which said, "We are going to fight, and have 
already begun to fight, for your freedom equally with our 
own, and we ask you to fight for our freedom equally with 
yours." In these words Elihu Root addrest the Council of 
Ministers on June 15. He laid stress on American disin- 
terestedness in the war, except so far as to conserve Democ- 
racy was concerned. In Russia, he said, America saw no 



party, no class, only great Russia as a whole, one mighty, 
striving, aspiring Democracy. For long years his own 
country had been striving with the hard problems of self- 
government. "With many shortcomings, many mistakes, 
many imperfections," he said, "we still have maintained 
order and respect for law, individual freedom, and national 
independence." Under the security of our laws, we had 
grow" in strength and prosperity. "We value our freedom 
more than wealth," he said. "We love liberty and we 
cherish, above all our possessions, the ideals for which our 
fathers fought and suffered and sacrificed, that America 
might be free. We believe in the competence of the power 
of Democracy and in our heart of hearts abides faith in the 
coming of a better world in which the humble and opprest 
of all lands may be lifted up by freedom and equal oppor- 

News of Russia's new-found freedom, he declared, had 
brought to America "universal satisfaction and joy." Sym- 
pathy and hope went out from America to "the new sister 
in the circle of democracies." America believed that Russia 
would solve her problems, that she would maintain her 
liberty and that the two great nations "would march side 
by side in the triumphant progress of democracy until the 
old order everywhere had passed away and the world was 
free." One fearful danger, however, threatened the liberty 
of both, "the armed forces of a military autocracy were at 
the gates of Russia and the Allies." The triumph of Ger- 
man arms "would mean the death of liberty in Russia." 
While no enemy was at the gates of America, America had 
come to realize that "the triumph of German arms meant 
the death of liberty in the world ; that we who love liberty 
and would keep it must fight for it, and fight for it now 
when the free democracies of the world may be strong in 
union, and not delay until they may be beaten down sepa- 
rately in succession." 

Two days later the Duma in a secret session passed a 
resolution for an immediate offensive by the Russian troops. 
The resolution declared a separate peace with Germany, or 
prolonged inactivity on the battle-front ignoble treason 
toward Russia's Allies, for which future generations never 



would pardon the Russia of the present day. The resolution 
added: "The Duma therefore considers that the safety of 
Russia and the maintenance of the liberties which have been 
obtained lie in an immediate offensive in close co-operation 
with Russia's Allies." On June 21 the Congress of Work- 
men's and Soldier's Delegates from the whole of Russia 
voted confidence in the Provisional Government and unani- 
mously passed a resolution demanding an immediate re- 
sumption of the offensive and the reorganization of the army. 
Germany's efforts for a separate peace meanwhile had been 
made in many directions: in a speech by the Chancellor in 
the Reichstag, through agents sent to Russia, and at the 
front where she brought into service alcohol and ink instead 
of powder. Despite all efforts to stop communication be- 
tween the two sets of trenches, German liquor appeared on 
the Russian side. Every morning hundreds of neatly 
printed, or carefully written peace-notes and letters were 
deposited near the Russian trenches. 

Reports from the front began soon to show an increasing 
betterment of morale among the Russian soldiers. Brusiloff 
went on a tour of the battle-front, in order to stir up his 
soldiers to fighting spirit and to restore rigid discipline, 
and met with enthusiastic receptions everywhere. General 
Scott left Petrograd on June 19 for a visit to the front, 
and Rear-Admiral Glennon visited the battle-fleet in the 
Black Sea. On June 26, Elihu Root and the whole Amer- 
ican Military Staff, accompanied by M. Tereshcenko, the 
Russian finance minister, arrived at Russia's General Staff 
Headquarters and held a conference with Brusiloff. The 
aids of General Scott began a ten days' tour of the front, 
as far south as Roumania. During this tour a congress of 
Cossacks listened to a speech by John R. Mott of the Amer- 
ican Commission, who described America's war preparations, 
complimented the Cossacks on their unity and strength, and 
declared that America would never abandon Russia and the 
other Allies. The Cossacks passed unanimously a resolution 
in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war, and rejected 
the idea of a separate peace, declaring that the war must 
be fought in co-operation with the Allies until victory was 

v. vii 'JO 2P7 


By July 10 the American Mission had completed a 
month's survey of the situation and was confident that the 
nation in time would successfully emerge from its internal 
difficulties and redirect its forces toward the energetic prose- 
cution of the war. Its optimistic conclusions were not 
derived alone from consultations with governmental heads, 
but were based on the spirit and determination of the people 
as encountered in public organizations, political and indus- 
trial councils, and in delegations properly representative of 
the temper of the nation as a whole. A feverish conflict of 
words and ambiguity of terms had been the natural result 
of a newly acquired right of free speech, but underneath 
these lay a patriotic purpose not essentially different from 
that of other democracies at war with autocratic ideas. 
There was no disposition on the part of the Commission to 
minimize either the dangers threatened by widespread Ger- 
man propaganda and pacifism agitation, or the practical 
difficulties in the way of transportation and the reorganiza- 
tion of Russia's economic life. Mr. Root made the following 
statement : 

"The mission has accomplished what it came here to do, and we 
are greatly encouraged. We found no organic or incurable malady 
in the Russian Democracy. Democracies are always in trouble, and 
we have seen days just as dark in the progress of our own. We must 
remember that a people in whom all constructive effort has been 
supprest for so long can not immediately develop a genius for quick 
action. The first stage is necessarily one of debate. The solid, ad- 
mirable traits in the Russian character will pull the nation through 
the present crisis. Natural love of law and order and capacity for 
local self-government have been demonstrated every day since the 
revolution. The country's most serious lack is money and adequate 
transportation. We shall do what we can to help Russia in both." 

"Tell Americans," said General Scott, "we have found 
the heart of Russia sound, and we have found the army's 
heart sound at the core." Premier Lvoff, at this time made 
an enumeration of the political and economic reforms that 
had been put through in the midst of the revolution that was 
little short of astounding. He said that in one hundred 
days Russia had moved forward one hundred years and 


minimized the danger of separatists and seditious move- 
ments which had given anxiety in other countries because 
they were spread in flaming headline across newspaper 
pages. With the very fountains of national life breaking 
loose, there was still much to admire in the resourcefulness 
and self-restraint of the men who were in charge of the 
country's destinies. Amid revolution reconstruction had 
been going on. Amid outcries and fears concerning the 
demoralization of the army, Kerensky and Brusiloff had been 
preparing for an offensive of which the outside world was 
in doubt, but about which men at the head were not in doubt. 

July had been a fateful month in the Russian Revolution. 
Political and military complications had followed with 
kaleidoscopic rapidity, forming an intricate maze separatist 
tendencies among Finns, Little Russians, and other nation- 
alities, each of whom sought to take advantage of the coun- 
try's weakness to secure a selfish, if fancied, profit; a .short- 
lived victory in the field, followed by a shameful retreat of 
troops twice as numerous as the enemy; a serious crisis in 
the Cabinet, which led to the resignation of Prince Lvoff 
and the advent of Kerensky to the premiership ; and another 
mutiny among sailors of the Baltic Fleet, which failed 
lamentably at a later date in defending the country's shores 
from invasion. Russia had lost nearly all the territory she 
had occupied during the preceding year in Galicia, and after 
having had a magnificent harvest. She had been saved from 
irretrievable military disaster only by the energy of her 
Allies on the "Western Front. The Revolutionary Govern- 
ment, now led by Socialists and dominated by the Soviets 
(Council of Workmen, Soldiers and Peasants), had neither 
the independence nor the force requisite for coping with 
lack of discipline. 

Four of the Russian armies that were involved in the 
disaster had been extricated from a well-nigh hopeless posi- 
tion by the skill of Korniloff. Kerensky and his associates 
had made concessions to Ukranian demands for autonomy 
which gravely imperilled the unity of the State and further 
weakened its armed defenses, already impaired by revolu- 
tionary propaganda. Altho nominally a republic, Russia was 
suffering the consequences of a departure from the mon- 


archial form of government with which her greatness as an 
Empire had been bound up in the past. Symptoms of dis- 
ruption obtruded themselves on every side. Autonomies 
were demanded by Siberia, Esthonia, Georgia, by the 
Lithuanians, the White Russians, the Letts, and also by 
Germans and Jews. Even the Asiatic dependencies of Khiva 
and Bokhara did not escape the general contagion. 

Another Russian offensive, and the last, was begun on 
July 1, under Korniloff. For a few days it revived hopes 
in Allied centers that Russia might still be saved. Then 
treachery and want of discipline in the army turned the 
victory into defeat. A turning point in the revolution had 
been reached. Kerensky and Tseretelli saw that while 
Russia had captured the Bastile of autocracy by assault, 
and had won for herself full liberty in a single week, she 
had yet to consolidate and stabilize her freedom. The revo- 
lution had already undermined the morale of the army, 
sown a fatal distrust among men toward their officers and 
taken from soldiers the incentive for fighting. Underneath, 
however, still slumbered something of the old indomitable 
spirit which had made Russia a military nation and real 
encouragement from the right source might yet have induced 
the flame to rise again. This incentive Kerensky sought to 
give when he issued, a stirring appeal, calling upon the 
soldiers to fight again, and vindicate the principles of the 
revolution. His summons called forth an immediate re- 
sponse, and a visit which he made to the front evoked 
scenes of indescribable enthusiasm. Even the Soviets were 
carried away by it. All Russia, postponing party interests 
and considerations, seemed to have risen up awaiting the 
issue with revived hope. Disorders were forgotten, and 
when bulletins of victory again reached Petrograd and 
Moscow, in the early days of July, all classes united in 
heartfelt joy and praise only to be driven to despair three 
weeks later when these same armies, after having inflicted 
defeats upon the Germans, mutinously deserted and fled in 
panic before an enemy far inferior in numbers and guns, 
abandoning positions of great strength, leaving behind a 
vast quantity of arms and supplies, a whole network of 
railways that had been laboriously constructed at great 



cost, and a fertile country with wheat ready to be harvested. 
It had been the first movement Russia had made since the 
revolution. The attack began on an eighteen-mile front in 
Galicia. Fierce fighting set in and showed signs of spread- 
ing north and south until the whole battle-front of 100 
miles in Galicia and Volhynia promised to become engaged. 
A renewed drive for Lemberg and Kovel was under way 
from positions gained in Brusiloff ' s offensive of 1916. From 
southeast of Brzezany to north of Zlozhow, along a front 
of about thirty miles, the attack extended, until the Rus- 
sian Army seemed about to capture Halicz and Brzezany, 
the keys to the southern approaches to Lemberg. This ad- 
vance was begun dramatically in person by Kereusky, who 
for four days had been continuously at the front, spending 
every effort in urging troops to advance. He rode forward 
in person to the first line trenches, placed himself at the 
head of the line and gave orders to advance, a spectacle 
which recalled Napoleon. at the bridge of Lodi and accom- 
plished what Kerensky's oratory had failed to do. The line 
swept forward into German trenches, stormed a strong posi- 
tion at Koniuchy, north of Brzezany, and took seven heavy 
guns and more than 10,000 prisoners. 

When Kerensky told his soldiers that if they would not 
attack, he would himself march along against enemy trenches, 
soldiers embraced and kissed him. One division that had 
been especially known for unwillingness to fight, a'nd which 
became afterward the most militant, was " reborn at this 
time under men's eyes." Soldiers seemed really to have been 
permeated with Russia's new political program, convinced 
as they were by Kerensky that they were fighting, not for 
imperialism, but for freedom at home and for international 
peace. Three weeks before, Kerensky had informed our 
Government that "a big Russian offensive would take place 
in the early part of July," and it had actually begun on 
July 1, but no offensive on so large a scale had confidentially 
been looked for in months. Kerensky's promise had been 
made somewhere about June 10, after returning from a tour 
of the front, where he addrest thousands of soldiers and 
awakened an enthusiasm without parallel. Ground for the 
advance had been prepared by the incessant labors of 



Brusiloff and other generals, but it was virtually Kerensky 's 
work -that brought on the attack. What he had done, in the 
time in which he did it, promised to go on record as one of 
the historic feats in war operations. When Kerensky risked 
his life, soldiers begged him to remain behind and spare 
himself for the sake of the future of Russia, but he would 
not listen and boldly gave the command. Petrograd was 
aglow with demonstrations which lasted through half the 
night. A huge crowd surrounded Kerensky's home singing 
the "Marseillaise." After the advance was begun, Kerensky 
watched the fighting from an artillery observation point, 
attended funerals of the dead, distributed orders, promoted 
officers and soldiers, and once during the battle, dismissed 
the commander of a division. 

On July 7, violent fighting began near Pinsk, where 
artillery levelled all obstacles, and continued on the Galician 
front, the Russians making important advances despite 
stubborn resistance, and capturing over 1,000 prisoners. The 
fighting was particularly fierce in the Zlochoff region and 
near Konichy, north of Brzezany. In the former region 
the Russians occupied three lines of German trenches, but 
were forced back again by a series of strong counter- 
attacks. In the Koniuchy sector six fortified positions 
changed hands several times. While the Russians lost some 
of their gains, they maintained their hold on the heights 
northwest of Preservce and those east of Godov, together 
with two villages. N'o one, including the Germans, had 
believed that Russia could make an attack in such force 
with any chances of success. Never under similar circum- 
stances had a nation been more completely demoralized. 
In every department of the Government there was chaos, 
transportation totally disorganized, munition manufacture 
infected with strikes, even to a point of complete paralysis. 
Government, so far as it was able to exercise its function 
and enforce obedience to its mandates, had ceased to exist. 
Petrograd was still permeated with German spies, working 
night and day to keep the air impregnated with civil strife 
and discontent. But Russia seemed still a force before 
which depleted, almost exhausted, Austria might tremble; 
a force which might yet inflict upon Germany the same 



measure of defeat by which Hindenburg, in the first year 
of the war, had been twice driven back from the gates of 
Warsaw to the East-Prussian frontier. 

The offensive soon spread north and south of Halicz. 
Halicz a year before had virtually been under the guns of 
Brusiloff when his advance was brought to a standstill. It 
was important as the key to Lemberg, and was about sixty 
miles southeast of that city. 
Three armies were now en- 
gaged on a front of more than 
thirty miles along the Nara- 
yuvka River. Major-General 
Scott arrived at the southwest- 
ern front just in time to wit- 
ness the beginning of the of- 
fensive. Standing on a hill 
overlooking Russian and Aus- 
trian lines near Zloczow, Scott 's 
party had an opportunity of 
observing the Russian artillery 
preparation and the charge 
which followed. He described 
the artillery preparations as 
"excellent," and personally 
)-aw the Sixth Corps of the 
Eleventh Army take three lines 
of Austrian trenches. By July 

3, Austro-German forces were evacuating Brzezany, fifty miles 
southeast of Lemberg, and Russian armies had invested 
Brzezany from the northeast, southeast and southwest. Units 
of four armies were co-operating in the advance, covering a 
front of about twenty miles. The Russians had taken pris- 
oners exceeding in number 16,000. 

Not alone did the Russians in Galicia make good gains 
of terrain, but their captures of men, guns, and material 
were enormous. From July 1 to July 13, according to a 
Russian official ' communication, 36,634 officers and men 
were made prisoners and 93 heavy guns and light guns, 28 
trench-mortars, 406 machine-guns, and 91 guns of other 
descriptions were taken. Austro-German forces had with- 





drawn beyond the Lommica River, about ten miles west of 
Jezupol. West of Stanislau toward Kalusz and Dolina, the 
Russians penetrated Teutonic lines to a depth of nearly 
seven miles and between Stanislau and Halicz widened their 
wedge. In their retirement, the Austro-Germans failed to 
make a stand at two rivers the Lukovitza and the Luvka. 
Russians were now within less than eight miles of Halicz on 
three sides. Only one avenue of retreat toward Lemberg 
was left open, that between the Dniester and the Lipiza. 
Meanwhile artillery was hammering lines south of Brzezany. 
Berlin and Vienna admitted the success of the Russian 
thrust, but both capitals claimed that the advances had been 
checked by German reserves, thrown in to save the Austrian 
positions. The Teutonic line was here formed on two sides 
of a quadrilateral from Dolina north of Stryj, and from 
Stryj east to Chodorow. Apart altogether from its moral 
significance, the capture of Halicz by Korniloff, which re- 
sulted from this operation, constituted a menace to the 
whole front of the Teutonic armies, whose northeastern 
sector, hard prest before Brzezany and Zhotow, now risked 
being outflanked by Korniloff's crumbling process. 

Russia was now ringing with the name of her latest hero 
of the war, Korniloff, who had succeeded Brusiloff in the 
chief command on this front. He was reported to be the 
most daring, chivalrous, and scholarly officer in the Russian 
army. Korniloff was born in 1870, in a little village of 
western Siberia, of humble. Cossack parents. Compelled 
almost from infancy to work hard, he managed by in- 
domitable energy, and self-taught, to enter the Cadet Corps 
at the age of thirteen. Within six years he has mastered 
foreign languages and entered the Artillery College at 
Petrograd, and in 1892 obtained his commission. Every- 
where at the head of his class, an excellent mathematician, 
and an erudite historian, he might, had he chosen, have 
had an easy and brilliant career in the metropolis, but 
instead went to Turkestan, allured by prospects of hard 
work, of expeditions to dangerous fastnesses, and of study- 
ing new peoples and languages. Between 1896 and 1902 
he carried out a series of daring missions in Afghanistan 
and Persia, often disguised as a native. As a result he was 




Korniloff was eventually accused of disloyalty to the government of Keren- 
sky, and was arrested nnd punished. Many held that Russia might have 
been saved from the Bolshevik! had Korniloff been supported as head of 
of the National Army. In 1918-1919 he was leading troops in Southern 
Russia against the Bolshevik!, and in March was killed in battle 



able to make important contributions to science. When the 
Japanese War broke out, he was on a special mission in 
India. Recalled home, he took command of a brigade, and 
displayed military talent, winning golden opinions and the 
Cross of St. George. His capture of Halicz and Kalusz sig- 
nalized him as a leader of men. His bold and masterful 
letter to the Provisional Government insisting on the restora- 
tion of the fighting efficiency of the army, stamped him 
with the hall-mark of a soldier and statesman. 

Korniloff in this offensive carried out his appointed task 
in more than full measure. Had his army had suitable 
reserves he might easily have reached Rohatyn from Halicz, 
turned the strong Brzezany position and, following up his 
successes at Kalusz, reached Dolina, south of Lemberg, 
thereby severing the enemy's communications and isolating 
some of his forces. Never had the Russian army been so 
well equipped. Artillery of all calibers, trench-mortars, 
and machine-guns, had been provided in abundance with 
plenty of ammunition. There were armored cars, including 
British and Belgian contingents, posted with every active 
corps. The roads and railways a heritage of Austrian 
dominion ensured easy and rapid intercommunication. The 
Russians had repaired them and had laid down field rail- 
ways to their heavy batteries. As regards numbers, the 
Russians had a superiority. Enemy lines were thinly held 
about one division per seven miles, not counting reserves. 

After the capture of Halicz, Korniloff forced the Austro- 
Germans to continue their retreat across the Lommica and 
occupied two towns on the western bank of the river. South 
and west of Stanislau he reached the Posiecz-Karmacz line, 
the central point of which, Lesiuvka, is four miles west of 
the River Bystritza. The extension of the fighting line to 
Zolotvin brought the battle-ground into the foothills of the 
Carpathians. On July 12 he captured 2,000 more prisoners 
and thirty guns. A large quantity of machine-guns and 
war-material also were taken. The fate of the Zlota Lipa 
line defending Lemberg on the east was now in the balance. 
The Russian advance west of Stanislau, besides endangering 
the Austro-German line immediately north in Galicia, was 

a threat against the line in Roumania. 



The new offensive had as yet accomplished nothing re- 
motely suggesting the clear and definite results of the 
attack by Brusiloff in the previous year. It gained ground, 
just as all offensives on either sides in the West had gained 
ground, but it gained less ground, and less important 
ground, than the British about Arras, or the French be- 
tween Soissons and Auberive. The fact that Russia had 
attacked when an attack by the Slavs seemed unlikely, took 
the world by surprize, and the additional fact that the 
Russians gained ground and took prisoners served to 
heighten the impression that another Russian sweep like 
that to and through Lemberg in 1914 and toward Kovel and 
Lemberg in 1916 was to occur. It was a great thing that 
Russia had attacked, but, up to July 9, the attack itself had 
only minor military value. On the political and moral side, 
however, the Russian offensive had, even tho a temporary, 
a clear meaning; for many months the German people, 
with diminishing hope, had looked toward the possibility of 
a separate peace with Russia. We had in the Russian 
offensive only a promise, brilliant, but by no means solid. 
Nothing, in fact, but evidence that a portion of the Russian 
army asked by Korniloff, could and would fight. 

Until July 18 Austro-German troops had been on the de- 
fensive, but German reinforcements now arrived, and on 
the morning of the 19th a counter-attack, launched against 
the Russian army operating north of Brzezany, pierced the 
Russian position east of Zloczow on a wide front, and ad- 
vanced toward the Strypa. This was the beginning of # 
movement which ended in the expulsion of the Russians 
from nearly the whole of eastern Galicia, and the recovery 
of the Bukowina by the Teutonic forces. The efforts of 
Russian commanders to arouse men to further duties were 
fruitless. Kerensky in putting Korniloff in full command 
acted from military and not from political reasons, for 
Brusiloff had been the first of Russian generals to accept 
the revolution and place his services at the disposal of the 
Provisional Government. He had proved himself one of 
Russia's best fighting generals, and had acquired high repu- 
tation as a strategist. Where he failed was not in the field, 
but in moral power to cope with the mutinous spirit which 



had crept into the Russian army during the time he was 
Commander-in-chief. To some extent he was the victim of 
circumstances. With an army reduced to an armed mob 
Brusiloff could not have launched a successful offensive. 
General Gutor, who, under Korniloff, commanded two of the 
Russian Armies, was unable to get through to Brzezany, and 
tho he won a tactical victory, had nothing in the shape of a 
territorial gain to show for the sacrifice his soldiers had 
made. r Thus it came about that when the Germans took 
the offensive the men turned mutinous and refused to fight. 

The German commander, Boehm-Ermolli, pushed his at- 
tack with great energy all along the line from the Lemberg- 
Tarnopol railway to the Carpathians. Advancing astride 
the railway Austro-German troops, assisted by Ottoman 
units, recaptured all the positions that were won by the 
Russians on July 1, and, crossing the Strypa, occupied 
Jezierna on the 21st and reached the line Tarnopol-Trem- 
bowla on the 23d. There the Russians rallied, and a battle 
lasting three days was fought under Korniloff and in the 
presence of the German Emperor, who arrived in time to 
see his troops defeat the Russians and drive them across the 
Sereth. Tarnopol was occupied on the 24th, and on the 
26th Austro-German troops crossed the Sereth. Halicz was 
evacuated on July 20, and Stanislau on the 23d. Next day 
the Austrians occupied Nizniow on the Dniester and Nad- 
worna on the upper Bystrycza. On the 26th Austro-Hun- 
garian troops entered Kolomea and pushed advanced guards 
down the Pruth. The Russians evacuated Czernowitz and 
fell back, at the same time calling up reinforcements to hold 
the frontier between the Pruth and the Dniester, but prac- 
tically the whole of the Bukowina passed into the possession 
of the Austrians. 

While the Russian army had done wonders, its superiority 
in numbers had been partly discounted by errors of strategy 
and tactics, and, above all, by the demoralizing influence of 
no discipline and unceasing propaganda. Had the Russian 
High Command been in a position to take the necessary 
measures for restoring discipline, the Austro-German hosts 
might have sustained a signal defeat and Lemberg been in 
Russian hands. A Russian victory then would have altered 



the whole subsequent course of events on all the Allied 
fronts, but by July 25 it had been made clear that the de- 
fection of the army was not confined to the Galician front, 
but was ravaging other parts of the Russian line. "On the 
Dvinsk front," said that day's communique, "whole di- 
visions without attack by the enemy left their trenches and 
some sections refused to obey commands." The central 
front also had failed. Tarnopol fell on July 22, Stanislau 
was evacuated on July 25, Kolomea (recently Korniloff's 
headquarters) on July 27. Czernowitz, the capital of the 
Bukowina, had to be abandoned a day or so later. Korniloff 
was marshaling his armies eastward and Kamieniec was 
prepared for evacuation. 4 

4 Principal Sources: The "Military Expert" of The Times (New York), 
"Nelson's History of the War" by John Buchan ; The Sun, The Evening Post, 
New York ; The London Time*' "History of the War" ; The Times, The 
Tribune, New York ; The Times, The Fortnightly Review, London ; Mont- 
gomery Schuyler in The, .Times (New York). 




August, 1917 December 13, 1917 

UNDER such circumstances it was only for the prophet 
to suggest what would happen in Russia, and for 
the historian in the future to say what actually did happen. 
All that anybody could see was that the prospect of a suc- 
cessful Russian participation in the military operations of 
1917 was fast fading. It was no longer possible to repre- 
sent Russia as fully reorganized and reborn by the revolu- 
tion. The offensive, which had wakened so much hope, had 
as its result not victory, but disintegration. Russian sol- 
diers who had fought brilliantly under Brusiloff and won 
victories under Korniloff were on the run. Anarchy had en- 
tered the ranks, with a lack of discipline, lack of organization, 
and a transformation of military procedure into direct primary 
and caucus methods. The sole question was as to what amount 
of Germany's limited man-power would be available for 
the tremendous military and moral demonstration necessary 
for an advance on Petrograd and Moscow. Germany seemed 
once more near to victory. Consciousness of this was the 
sole factor in silencing domestic tumult in the German home 
crisis in the later months of 1917. 

Advices reached Petrograd late in August that a retro- 
grade movement by the Russians had occurred southeast of 
Riga, the important Russian port and naval base on the 
Baltic. Here the Germans had occupied the Ukskull bridge- 
head, which the Russians had previously evacuated, and by 
September 11 all the Russians had retreated from Riga. 
Riga, however, was not a new Tarnapol; the retreat from 
it was conducted on the whole in orderly fashion. During a 
fortnight the Russian commanders had prepared for the 
blow by withdrawing troops from positions along the shore 
and taking heavy artillery out of the danger zone. Imme- 



diately after the Germans forced the Dwina, orders had 
been given to evacuate the place, and the evacuation was 
accomplished in two days. The last train, loaded with 
wounded, left Riga under heavy fire. All witnesses testified 
to the extreme intensity of the German bombardment, which, 
with the help of chemical shell and gas-waves, silenced the 
Russian guns. The Russians left Riga partly aflame, as the 
result of German shells sent into the town before they de- 
parted. Smoldering ruins of small villages marked the path 
over which the other contingents passed. With the Russian 
front broken over a distance of about forty-five miles be- 
tween Riga and Friedrichstadt, the province of Livonia was 
fast overrun by Germans. Everywhere they prest against 
the retreating Russians, among whom disaffection daily be- 
came more apparent. Altho the Russians fell back with 
great speed all along the line, it seemed evident that they 
had not been put to rout and that loyal troops were fighting 
rear-guard actions. This seemingly was borne out by the 
fact that the German bag of prisoners was less than eight 
thousand and their capture in guns only 180. 

In ordering a public celebration of the capture of Riga, 
Berlin made the most of an opportunity that it had long 
needed. Hindenburg had won no victories in France to 
set the German capital fluttering with flags. The steady 
hammering by the French and British since April against 
Hindenburg 's western lines had 'sorely tried his powers of 
resistance. The Kaiser's Government had had no pretext 
since the invasion of Roumania for organizing a festival in 
honor of the feats of German armies. Riga might have been 
taken months before when the demoralization of the Russian 
armies became evident, but toward Russia Germany had 
been carrying on more of a political than a military cam- 
paign. Germany now stood badly in need of such pseudo- 
victories as mutinous Russian troops had placed within her 
reach. So Riga served for the moment to help the political 
situation that confronted the Kaiser's government. 

After the crowds had shouted themselves hoarse and the re- 
joicing had subsided the position of Germany remained no 
better. The occupation of the Russian seaport did .not 
create any more reserves for Hindenburg 's battered lines 



in France. It did not fill any empty German stomachs or 
lessen the drain on the empire's resources. There was a 
hollow and perfunctory sound in the Kaiser's congratulations. 
A resonant, full-throated roar, swelling with conviction, had 
given place to a half-mechanical toying with old phrases. 
He acted now like a weary horse under an insistent spur. 
He was not half so enthusiastic over Riga's fall as he was 
over Bucharest. The reason was that the campaign against 
Riga and Petrograd was a political campa'gn, not a mili- 
tary one. He could have had Riga long before, but he did 
not need it until now. 

The campaign was, not against an enemy in the field, 
but against people at home. Need existed for a success that* 
would sound large, that would still the voice of discontent 
and hearten the people for another loan and another winter 
of war. Riga was a desperate expedient, undertaken 
probably with misgivings. As for the capture, of Petrograd, 
even the serious menace of its capture might be the only 
thing needed to rouse the vast forces of nationalism in Russia 
into crushing the centrifugal forces* of anarchy and so uni- 
fying the whole vast country for war. It took the capture 
of Moscow in 1821 to rouse the whole Russian nation, and the 
same thing might have the same result in 1917. The Kaiser 
and his lieutenants were playing with dynamite, but their 
need at home was great. A German advance far into Russia 
would have been a dangerous enterprize. Apparently they 
knew it. 

For many months before the Russians collapsed in Galicia, 
an attack by the Germans on Riga had been foreseen in 
Petrograd. The place was vulnerable because it was open 
to attack by naval and aerial forces, as well as by an army. 
What actually took place was that on August 31 the Russian 
island bases in the gulf were attacked by numerous airplanes, 
while naval vessels operated- in the gulf. Before- retreating 
the Russians destroyed quantities of stores and burred, or 
removed to Petrograd, military munitions and valuables, 
laying waste the country behind them as they retreated to 
the northeast. One reason for the abandonment of Riga 
was that it had long been a hotbed of German agitators and 
Russian anarchists, and was a very doubtful asset to Russia 



in the struggle to recover military efficiency. Within a 
week there was a considerable slackening in the German 
advance, due in large measure to the Russians making stands 
at several points,- particularly on the front of the Pskoff 
railroad line leading eastward from Riga. Here the German 
vanguard and Russian cavalry engaged in fighting, the re- 
sult being that the invaders were held back while the Rus- 
sians prepared defenses in which to make a stand. Thirty- 


two miles northeast of Riga, near Segevold, "a death bat- 
talion" forced the Germans to retreat south, while along the 
Burtnetsk line to the Dekoff railroad rear-guards gave strong 
battle to advanced Teuton contingents. 

Late in the summer and in the midst of these events, the 
proclamation of an independent Poland, which had been 
issued by the Central Powers in November, 1916, was with- 
drawn and a proposed new partition of Poland substituted 

v. vii 21 



for it. This act was believed to show, among other things, 
the utter failure of the Teutonic attempt to win over the 
Poles and to enlist 500,000 Polish recruits in the Teutonic 
cause. Prom the Polish point of view, Poland had to be 
reconstituted as a sovereign State, this State to embrace the 
Russian part and Galicia, and above all, the Prussian part, 
or the Grand Duchy of Posen, with Danzig as a Polish sea- 
port. So it was with horror for every Pole that an agree- 
ment was announced between Germany and Austria for a 
new partition of their unhappy country. Here was indeed 
a challenge to the civilized world by powers whose arrogant 
defiance of its opinion had long been difficult to understand. 

The act united all Poles, some 25,000,000 of them, as no 
other stroke or policy could have done, and it made less 
likely than ever the willing service of any Pole in the 
armies of the Central Powers. Germany by this proposal 
was to annex such parts of Russian Poland as she needed 
''to rectify her strategic frontier," territory which in ex- 
tent would be about one-tenth of Russian Poland, and 
Austria was to annex the remaining nine-tenths. The 
Emperor Charles was to promulgate a decree, uniting 
Austrian conquests in Russian Poland with Galicia, to pro- 
claim the whole territory thus consolidated as the kingdom 
of Poland, proclaim himself King of all Poland, and decree 
that the Polish crown should descend to his heirs in like 
manner with the crowns of Austria and Hungary. The 
fundamental purpose of the entire program was the per- 
petuation of the alliance between the two Central Powers 
and the continuance of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 
its historic mission of a German outpost in the East. 5 

German forces landed on the island of Oesel, at the head 
of tJie Gulf of Riga, on October 14 and captured Arenburg, 
the capital of the island. Aiding the operations as far as 
possible were German cruisers and torpedo-boats which 
shelled coast-batteries and towns. Attempts by the German 
fleet to enter the gulf, or to operate in the waters between 
Oesel and Dage islands, met with some resistance from 
Russian land batteries and Russian naval units, but by 
October 17 German troops had taken the greater portion of 

* The Journal of Commerce (New York). 



the island, altho the aid they had expected from their fleet 
in putting down the. Russian opposition in adjacent waters 
was still meeting with some check from Russian warships. 
Next day the Germans were entirely in possession of the 
island, and Russian forces were cut off from communication 
with Petrograd. Small naval engagements continued, and 
German aircraft carried out reconnaissances over other 
islands in the gulf. 

The occupation of Oesel was a Russian defeat, but it could 
hardly be called a German victory. Russian weakness rather 
than German strength accounted for Russian reverses. Al- 
most simultaneously with news of this. German success, dis- 
patches revealed the fact that six weeks before a mutiny in 
the German navy had amounted to an organized and wide- 
spread revolt. Sailors seized officers, threw overboard and 
drowned at least one captain, and some of the men were 
on their way to Norway to become interned, so as to avoid 
further participation in the war. . All news of this revolt 
had been scrupulously repressed in Germany until it was re- 
vealed by Chancellor Michaelis in the Reichstag; but it had 
become an open secret in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. 
Admiral von Capelle made use of the occurrence to strengthen 
the political hold of the war party, laying the mutiny at 
the door of men whose heads had been turned by the Russian 
revolution. There had been some loss of morale in civilian 
Germany, of which this naval mutiny was indication. A 
navy held in idleness in the midst of a great war gets 
nervously undermined. Great Britain had been holding 
Germany's navy inactive, and had thus been working injury 
upon its men, even if unable to reach and destroy their 
ships. Repugnance to submarine duty, which so often 
ended in unrecorded disappearances of German sailors, was 
one of the factors in the mutiny. Hunger and ill-treatment 
also had had some effect. 

Two German dreadnoughts, one cruiser, twelve torpedo 
boats, a transport and. numerous mine-sweepers were reported 
out of action or lost in the taking of Oesel, Mohn, and Dago 
islands, with the adjacent bit of coast at Verder. The loss 
of six torpedo-boats was definitely established. The German 
squadron suffered from mines, torpedoes, and the fire of 



Russian naval guns and shore-batteries. British naval aid 
came to the Russian sea forces and helped in the escape of 
the Russian fleet from Mohn Sound. A British submarine 
fired two torpedoes at two German dreadnoughts, injuring 
or destroying one. The German fleet comprised dread- 
noughts, ten cruisers, several scores of torpedo-boats, sub- 
marines, trawlers, and transports. 

With so much uncertainty as to whether Russia could be 
again counted on even as a factor in the Allied cause, it was 
interesting to know what was the state of the Russian cam- 
paign at this time in Armenia and on the Turko-Persian 
frontier. Conditions there had varied little. There had 
been no Russian retreat in Armenia, and a good deal of 
desultory fighting had occurred, in which the Russians gen- 
erally had held their own. They seem not to have been 
touched by the internal dissensions in their own country. 
Their front began at Elebu, on the Black Sea. west of 
Trebizond, and passed near Ardassa and Gumishkaneh to 
the town of Kelkid. They were still in Erzinghan. their point 
of contact with the Turks in this district being near Kemakh, 
sixteen miles to the southeast. The line then swerved south- 
east across a mountain range to the village of Kighi. The 
Russians had withdrawn from Oghnut and Mush early in 
May, but still held positions close to those towns. They 
were not in Bitlis, but occupied part of the district between 
Bitlis and Lake Van. and also held the town of Van, on 
the eastern shore of the lake. It was believed that they 
still held the Persian city of Kermanshah and the country 
for some distance to the west. Broadly it could be said that 
they still held nearly the whole of their conquests in 
Armenia. Small bodies of their troops were scattered along 
the Turko-Persian frontier from the neighborhood of Lake 
Urumiah to some unknown point west of Bagdad. The 
Turks had not seriously fought the Russians since the winter 
of 191&-17. 

By the first week of September the Russian Government 
was facing a new crisis. KornilofF, commander-in-chief of 
the army, backed in part by a group of political agitators, 
sought for himself greater powers, if not the surrender 
of the Government into his hands. Kerensky refused to 



comply with his demands and imprisoned in the Petropav- 
lovsk fortress M. Lvoff, member of the Duma, and former 
Premier, who had acted as Korniloff's intermediary, and 
under a severe examination had given details of a plot to 
overthrow the Government. Korniloff was in consequence 
deposed from chief command of the army, while Lokomsky. 
when he refused to take up Korniloff's duties, was pro- 
nounced a traitor. Meanwhile, martial law was declared in 
Petrograd and its environs, and the Government took 
measures to crush the revolt. The situation on September 



In the clash between the Bolsheviki and followers of Kerensky. the women 
soldiers alone, of all the troops in Petrograd, remained loyal to the Premier 
and suffered heavily for their devotion, many being killed by Maximalist 


12 had become acute. Korniloff began a march on Petro- 
grad, but was soon checked, as defections from his ranks 
occurred, and a great majority of commanders at the front 
adhered to the Government. Next day official reports said 
that Korniloff's headquarters had surrendered and that 
Korniloff himself desired conditionally to place himself in 
the hands of the authorities. The Government, however, de- 
manded his unconditional capitulation. Kerensky was then 
confirmed by the Cabinet as commander-in-chief of the 



army. Russia had apparently surmounted the peril of actual 
civil war but only for a brief period, as the event proved. 
One decisive factor in the failure of Korniloff was the 
rallying of General Alexeieff to the Provisional Government, 
and as chief-of-staff to Kerensky Alexeieff was to be the 
real commander-in-chief. 

After the event some observers regretted the fall of 
Korniloff. Had power come to him, these observers be- 
lieved, he might have saved the country from the Bolsheviki. 
The immediate cause of this open clash had been the danger 
in which Russia stood from a German advance that had 
so easily captured Riga, and was then seriously threatening 
Dwinsk. Korniloff and his followers had been greatly dissatis- 
fied with what they considered the temporizing policy of 
Kerensky. At a national conference in Moscow Korniloff had 
made a brilliant and forceful speech in favor of the restora- 
tion of discipline and aggressiveness in the army, and had 
particularly urged that the military commanders have full 
power in inflicting death by court martial, but he had re- 
ceived only lukewarm support from Kerensky, and the recent 
German advance had led him to feel that nothing but a 
vigorous administration of discipline by the Government 
could save Russia. 

Politically the clash was one between Constitutional Demo- 
crats such as Milliukov and Lvoff, and Social Democrats and 
extreme radicals who had control of the Workmen's and 
Soldiers' delegates. The former were urgent in desiring a 
vigorous prosecution of the war, but the latter wished to 
establish a Social Democracy, and many of them were so 
radical in their political views that they regarded the con- 
duct of the war as a secondary matter. The movement 
headed by Korniloff was not reactionary in the sense that 
it desired to restore imperialism, but it' put vigorous prose- 
cution of war before discussion of political theories. 
Kerensky held that the movement under Korniloff was an 
attempt to effect a counter-revolution, which had "the de- 
sign of robbing the Russian people of hard-won liberties," 
but Korniloff 's adherents declared that a vigorous prosecu- 
tion of the war was the only question now before the coun- 
try, that the Kerensky government was "carrying water on 



both shoulders," and that it was unwilling to meet the war 
issues squarely because ot pressure from the more radical 
Socialists and labor leaders. 

Altho he had failed in the attempt to establish a stable 
government, Korniloff had the satisfaction of knowing that 
his action for a time had been the means of strengthening 
Kerensky's hands and replacing a weak administration by 
what promised to be a strong one. It was understood that 
the policy and conduct of the war would now be left in the 
unfettered hands of a ''Council of Five," and on Septem- 
ber 16 a Russian Republic was proclaimed. To strengthen 
the organization of the State, it was declared that a change 
to the republican form was necessary, that a republic had 
been one of the chief aims of the radicals and the Council 
cf Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates, and that it had been 
approved by the Russian Congress at Moscow. 

Of the Korniloff demonstration, the proclamation of 
a republic marked one result, and the new influence of 
the Council of Workmen and Soldiers revealed another. To 
Kerensky the lesson of the episode was that a more emphatic 
need than ever existed for national unity and cooperation. 
His proclamation was plainly an exhortation to all parties 
to lay aside their differences for the preservation of the 
one ideal upon which they all agreed a free republican 
government. Common-sense seemed once more to have 
emerged from a crisis. The formal proclamation brought 
into strong relief the difficulties in the way of creating a 
workable system of republican government in a land where 
the racial 'and lingual diversity of the people was so pro- 
found. This diversity had a lurid illustration when what 
was known, as the "savage" division of the Russian army 
placed itself under the orders of Korniloff and marched to 
attack Petrograd. The division was composed of Georgians 
and Caucasians, who did not speak Russian and who in 
religion were Moslems. It needed the intervention of an 
officer of their own race to explain to them the enterprise 
on which they were engaged and to induce them to 
abandon it. 

The next turn in affairs came early in November when 
the world received the startling news that the Provisional 



Government had been thrown out of power by the Bolshevik! 
or Maximalists, headed by Nikolai Lenine, the radical 
Socialist leader, whose real name was Vladimir Hitch 
Ulianov. Kerensky had fled from the capital and several 
of his ministers had been placed under arrest. The Winter 
Palace, the seat of the Government, bombarded by guns from 
the cruiser Aurora and from the fortress of St. Peter and 
St. Paul, had been forced to capitulate. Delegates from the 
Black and Baltic fleets declared themselves in favor of the 
radicals. A congress of the Workmen's and Soldiers Dele- 
gates of all Russia convened in Petrograd to discuss organiza- 
tion, peace and war, and the formation of a constituent 
assembly. A delegation was named to confer with other 
revolutionary and democratic organizations, with a view to 
initiating peace negotiations for the purpose of "taking 
steps to stop the bloodshed." Cossack regiments, mean- 
while, were declared to have announced their readiness 
whole-heartedly to support the Provisional Government on 
condition that no compromise with the revolutionists was 

The battle at the Palace, which began shortly after 6 
o'clock, was a spectacular one, armed cars of the revo- 
lutionaries swinging into action in front of the Palace gates, 
while from the Neva came shells from the guns of the 
Aurora. The men entrusted with power comprised fourteen- 
Maximalists, or extreme radicals, including Nikolai Lenine, 
M. Zinovieff, an associate of Lenine, and Leon Trotzky, 
president of the Central Executive Committee. Some of 
the excesses of the French Revolution were equaled and 
often far exceeded in Petrograd in the anarchy- that ensued 
when Kerensky 's wavering rule came to an ejid. While 
Russia groaned under the rule of the Bolsheviki and was 
out of sympathy with the idealism that Lenine and Trotzky 
were attempting to put into practise, there was general sub- 
mission to the "tyrants of the moment," for Lenine had an 
iron hand and did not hesitate to let it be felt. The Petro- 
grad correspondent of the London Morning Post gave a 
vivid description of the reign of terror under which the 
Russian capital groaned. Altho floods of indignation were 
being poured out daily upon the Bolsheviki, it was beyond 




question that they were gaining ground in Russia, simply 
because they used a strong hand. In three weeks there were 
taken out of the rivers and canals of Petrograd 7,000 naked 
corpses of persons whose deaths were not caused by drown- 
ing. The corpses of the women had their hair cut off, be-% 
cause it represented marketable value, as had their clothes. 
Anti-Bolshevik papers were supprest, but occasionally made 
a spasmodic appearance. 

As early as November 10 regiments loyal to Kerensky 
were marching on the capital and fighting was under way 
in the city. An organization which had adopted the name 
of the All Russian Committee for Saving the Country a:~jd 
the Revolution announced that the defeat of the Bolsheviki 
movement was a matter only of days. The town of Tsarskoe 
Selo, fifteen miles south of Petrograd, where the former 
Emperor Nicholas had lived, had been captured, after which 
the rebels retired in disorderly mobs as Kerensky approached 
Petrograd. Thus a counter-stroke was being delivered with 
apparently some chance of success. 

It required a long perspective, to estimate the results of 
this as of any revolution. Russia was a great, unwieldy, 
awakening giant, unconscious of her strength, groping 
toward the light, learning by experiment and pain, and was 
still a force for good could she be rightly directed. That 
the nation as a whole would eventually prove loyal to her 
pledges was the sincere belief of many who knew Russia. 
Men often forget how slow revolutions are. As had been 
remarked by a French statesman, it took eighty-two years 
to establish the French Republic; that is, the time between 
1789 and 1871. The revolution in England had first de- 
veloped a dictator in Oliver Cromwell, and then followed 
the Restoration, before the real revolution came in 1689. We 
easily forgot how long our own revolution was in the mak- 
ing, and at times was held in suspense, even tho the heart 
of the English people was not in the fight against us, and 
the best men among Englishmen regarded their German 
King with- contempt. What Russia needed was sympathy 
and understanding. To criticize her while in the throes 
of her awakening was like criticizing the Gulf Stream or 
the Equator. She had to work out her own salvation some- 



how; and if, for the moment, her experiments in govern- 
ment leaned to the German side, many felt that they would 
ultimately go to the right sideband reflect the true spirit of 
the Russian people. 

The fate of Russia thereafter hung in the balance with 
the choice between anarchism and democracy left to the de- 
cision of war. When the Bolsheviki revolted against the 
Provisional Government, attacked and seized the Winter 
Palace, arrested most of the ministers, forced Kerensky into 
flight, and proclaimed a Government of which Lenine, long 
since denounced as .a German agent, was the head, and 
Trotzky, a fiery speaker and wild thinker, formerly a 
Socialist editor in New York City, was the Foreign Secre- 
tary, it seemed as if all was lost for the cause of stable 
democracy in Russia. In a day or two, as the situation be- 
came clearer, men began to ask whether civil war itself was 
not more desirable than the tyranny shown by these 
anarchists. From Moscow came news that Kerensky was 
marching with troops against the Bolsheviki, that Miliukov, 
Korniloff, Alexieff, and Kaledine were combining to estab- 
lish a real democratic government and to put Russia again 
on the fighting line. It had become clear that the voice of 
Russia was not the voice of Lenine. The Constitutional 
Democrats, the voters in small cities, the great cooperative 
associations, and the zemstvos, were by no means at the 
beck and call of German agents, or of theorists so blind as 
to think that to -call grandiloquently on the world to make 
peace forthwith was the way to get some other kind t)f peace 
than German domination. 

The most conflicting reports were printed. One account 
said Kerensky had been arrested in Petrograd and his 
forces routed ; another that Kerensky had been victorious ; 
another that street fighting was going on; another that 
Korniloff, with twenty thousand soldiers, was approaching 
the capital. Civil war, however, existed. A large force was 
approaching Petrograd, but for what purpose was unknown, 
and another was approaching Moscow. There had been 
fighting in Kakan and Tasskent. In Kief there had been 
some disturbance of ordinary life and Czech troops fighting 
for the Government had secured the mastery. Strong pro- 



tests against the Bolshevik! were made in many provincial 
towns. When the Bolsheviki deposed Kerensky he appealed 
to the army, most of which was apathetic or hostile, but he 
raised a small army and marched on Petrograd. The report 
of his advance, spread and magnified, induced a handful 
of military cadets to try, in a moment of ecstatic en- 
thusiasm, to overthrow the Bolsheviki before he could ar- 
rive, but they were surrounded, shot to pieces and cap- 
tured. At the same time riots broke out in Moscow, with 
disastrous results for thousands of innocent people. 

Meanwhile Kerensky advanced toward Petrograd, where 
the Bolsheviki had hurriedly collected a miscellaneous mob 
of 16,000 and sent it against Kerensky 's much smaller 
force. In this Bolsheviki army were some soldiers and many 
sailors, but the great majority were factory hands and boys 
who had been frantically and feverishly armed and dec- 
orated with the title of "the Red Guard." The two forces 
met at Gatchina where Cossacks confronted the Red Guard 
for two days, occasionally firing aimless volleys, and finally 
made a sudden and apathetic charge. The Bolsheviki had 
sent the Red Guard against Kerensky 's Cossacks apparently 
because they could not get regular soldiers to go and 
Kerensky had raised only 1,500 Cossacks, obviously because 
more would not go, and those who did go immediately re- 
pented of their bargain. Soldiers would fight neither for 
Kerensky nor for the Bolsheviki. Then the Russian tragedy 
for a week seemed to take on the color of a farce. The 
Bolsheviki were in power, but dispatches became con- 
tradictory and confusing. One thing was clear, there was 
no government in Russia. The great question was whether 
the moderate elements could gather head and power enough 
to make Russia a self-governing country, and recreate an 
army that would offer resistance to Germany. 

Kerensky had few if any supporters left among the 
masses, who were convinced that he had connived at 
Korniloff's march on Petrograd, which they had regarded 
as a reactionary movement. The Red Guards, whose 
formation he had permitted in order to resist Korniloff's 
cavalry, turned against him, and sailors came in warships 
to support Lenine. Kerensky in fact was deserted by the 



troops, except officer cadets and the Women's Battalion who, 
faithful to their duty, bore the brunt of the Bolshevist at- 
tacks and suffered the greatest losses. Kerensky had only 
one hope, the Cossacks, but he antagonized them when he 
tried to ride rough-shod over their elective institutions. 
Moreover, they mistrusted him for "duplicity" in the 
Korniloff affair, and resented the charges of disloyalty that 
he had brought against their organization. In July the 
Cossacks had saved Kerensky and incidentally the soviet 



from the Bolshevists, but now in a secret midnight con- 
sultation with him, they told him in plain words that they 
would no longer support him. Thereupon Kerensky secretly 
fled from the city, hoping to return at the head of troops. 
He found them at Gatchina, but, as they also went over to 
the Bolshevists, Kerensky 's brief rule was over. 

By December 10 a counter revolt against the Bolsheviki 
in southeastern Russia was gaining some momentum. It 
was described as spreading fanlike from chosen bases north- 



ward, northeastward, and northwestward, while preparations 
were hastening to extend it southward into the Caucasus. 
Meanwhile, the Bolsheviki continued to issue manifestoes 
calling upon their followers to resist the attempt that was 
being made .to overthrow them. From his base in the river 
Don region, Kaledine, Hetman of the Don Cossacks, was 
moving toward the borders of the Ukraine, which already 
had declared its independence of, and hostility to, the Bol- 
sheviki. At the same time was forming a menace to Moscow, 
where the Bolsheviki were in control, and other forces were 
making their way northward. From Orenburg, near the 
Siberian frontier, General Dutoff was moving to capture 
Cheliabinsk, the junction point of the Trans-Siberian Rail- 
way, in order to prevent food and other supplies from reach- 
ing European Russia, and especially Petrograd, from Siberian 
ports on the Pacific. Altho it had not definitely alined 
itself with the movement, the new Republic of Siberia had 
issued an order that promised materially to aid the Kaledine 
forces. This order, in forbidding the shipment of food sup- 
plies into European Russia, took the ground that they might 
reach the Germans. 

It seemed for a time that Russia would not perish with- 
out a struggle. There were honorable and intelligent ele- 
ments among her people. That was the meaning of the re- 
volt headed by Kaledine. There was ground for hope in 
the very deliberation with which he moved. He had been 
consolidating his position for months, evidently with the 
determination that his movement should be no flash in the 
pan. There was every reason to believe that many recent 
declarations of independence on the part of different por- 
tions of Russia had, as a matter of fact, been parts of this 
great effort of Russian sanity to resume control. The 
Ukrainian Republic, for example, was working with Kale- 
dine, and the Provisional Government of Siberia was moving 
in the same direction. In the beginning of his operation, 
Kaledine held only the Don region, but within a fortnight 
he had extended his influence over much of Little Russia, 
the lower Vol'ga provinces and Turkestan. Kaledine was 
no military adventurer, no upstart. He was the Hetman of 
the Cossacks, and how well he represented them was shown by 




the fact that, when Kerensky called upon them to arrest 
him for supporting Korniloff, they replied politely that, as 
Kaledine was engaged in attending to his official duties as 
Hetman, it was impossible to execute the Government's 

Civil war in Russia was at white heat. Kaledine, supported 
by Korniloff, had raised the standard of revolt, and Con- 
stitutional Democrats and Bourgeois were aiding them. Ob- 
servers began to think of a possible disintegration in the 
empire, with its vast areas and its tremendous resources 
and that there might arise a Russian question that would 
prove more dangerous to Europe than the Turkish, or 
Eastern, question for several centuries had been. For the 
twentieth century the Russian question might therefore re- 
place the Eastern question. Like the Turk, the Russian 
had conquered many races and Lke the Turk had failed to 
assimilate the races he conquered. Russian unity was 
dynastic and governmental, and so when overthrown by the 
revolution and succeeded by anarchy, the unassimilated por- 
tions promptly began to seek some Other unity than the 
Russian-Romanoff unity had secured. In Finland, Poland, 
Lithuania, and Ukraine these national movements had al- 
ready begun. 

On December 13 the curtain fell on the first act in a 
new drama when about twenty Social Revolutionary dele- 
gates to the Constituent Assembly attempted to hold a meet- 
ing in Petrograd, entrance to the Duma hall being prohibited 
and numerous armed sailors guarding all doors. The dele- 
gates then entered the library, with the intention of holding 
a formal session there, but an officer appeared before theni 
and read instructions from Lenine which declared that all 
meetings would be illegal until the Constituent Assembly 
had received permission to meet. Delegates in spite of this 
imperturbably proceeded with their business, and made a 
protest addrest to the whole world. Another meeting was 
then postponed by formal action until a substantial number 
of delegates could arrive in Petrograd. Before an adjourn- 
ment was reached an officer, accompanied by sailors with fixt 
bayonets and cutlasses, appeared and ordered the assembly 
to disperse, whereupon the library was slowly emptied. The 





incident was perhaps trivial, but it was characteristic of 
conditions in Russia where the bayonet now ruled. A 
democratic government did no longer exist. 6 

So passed a day for which the original revolutionaries had 
eagerly waited, but instead of an accredited body of 600 
delegates they saw only a little gj*oup of forty or fifty, most of 
them unknown men, not one in the foremost rank a quiet 
little meeting of low voices speaking timidly in whispers. 
One delegate announced that three delegates had been 
arrested and another, as he walked out, said: "We are all 
waiting for our turn." Thus the Constituent Assembly of 
Russia had met under a shadow, not that of a Czar, but 
that of a worse tyranny, the tyranny of radical class 
Socialism. The Bolsheviki had determined that it should 
not meet unless they could control it, and they could not 
do that because the elections had gone against them. At 
first their intention was to set the election aside in districts 
where they had been defeated and to order new ones, pre- 
sumably under the auspices of the Red Guard. But a 
simpler method was employed. 'They adopted Cromwell's 
old method of a "purge." 

Reports as to the progress of operations between the Bol- 
sheviki and Cossack forces for weeks had been much be- 
clouded. Both parties were credited with victories. One 
report said Kaledine was besieging Rostov-on-Don and that 
fighting was in progress near that city. Another that a 
revolt to assist him had set in. Men and guns from the 
Black Sea fleet were said to be aiding the Bolsheviki; 
Korniloff had routed the Bolsheviki near Bielgorod ; Korniloff 
had been wounded and was in danger of capture; attempts 
by Kaledine 's followers to cut off food supplies had failed. 
Reinforcements at this time were being sent by the Con- 
stitutional Democrats southward to Kaledine and Korniloff, 
and eastward to Dutoff. Kaledine had seized Rostov at the 
mouth of the Don, but withdrew his troops from the latter 
place when it was attacked by Bolsheviki troops landed 
from the Russian fleet. Korniloff, who had been imprisoned 
at Biekhoff, managed to escape and collecting all the Cos- 
sacks he could find, reached Bielgorod on his way to join 

Cable dispatch from Harold Williams to The Times (New York). 
V. VII 22 329 


Kaledine. There he was met by Bolshevik! troops, who de- 
feated him and compelled his Cossack followers to break up 
into small parties. Korniloff himself escaped. Kerensky 
was now in hiding and appeared to have lost his followers. 7 

T Principal Sources : The World, The Outlook, The Times, The Journal of 
Commerce, New York; The Times (London), The Wall Street Journal (New 
York), The London Times' "History of the War." 


Here the Grand Duke Nicholas had his headquartprs. after he was removed 
from command of the Russian armies in Europe 




December 17, 1917 May 3, 1918 

REVOLUTION and counter-revolution seemed daily to 
be plunging Russia into deeper chaos. Little was 
known of the meetings of the new Constituent Assembly, 
nor were expectations of it particularly sanguine, seeing 
that the Bolsheviki leaders threatened to dissolve it, or to 
annul its proceedings if it ventured to adopt a course, con- 
trary to their dictation. Meantime, in advance of anything 
which it might do, the Bolsheviki decreed the abolition of 
all courts in the empire, and the substitution therefor of 
new tribunals arbitrarily created by themselves. At the 
same time they declared all land the property of the State, 
and then they entered into an armistice with Germany. The 
British envoy at Petrograd strongly criticized their course, 
pointing out that it had been incumbent upon them, first, 
to discuss the matter with the Allies of Russia and come to 
an agreement with them before opening negotiations with 
the enemy. 

Germany's artistice with Russia now signed covered a period 
of twenty-eight days, beginning at noon on December 17. Peace 
negotiations were at once entered into. One of the condi- 
tions of the armistice was that no German troops should be 
moved from the Russian front while the armistice lasted, 
but Hindenburg, who had moved masses of troops before 
the signature of the armistice, continued to move many 
others afterward. Discussion of a general peace was in 
progress at Brest-Litovsk by December 19. German and 
Austrian Foreign Ministers, both astute politicians, had gone 
to Brest-Litovsk for this purpose while the war-aims of 
Great Britain were being concretely set forth in the House 
of Commons by Lloyd George as being a complete restora- 
tion by Germany of all invaded territory, with compensa- 



tion for the havoc wrought. "A joyful Christmas" had 
been promised to the world by the German press, but in- 
stead of holding out an olive branch the Kaiser threw another 
brickbat. In one of his most frenzied moods he talked about 
bringing peace to the world through " battering in with the 
iron fist and shining sword the doors of those who will not 
have peace." 

Germany was represented at Brest-Litovsk 8 as expecting 
to sacrifice certain of her colonies in the interest of a gen- 
eral peace with the Entente. She might even think of 
indemnities to Belgium, her main objectives being in the 
East and the Balkans. For the time being, at least, her 
efforts to dominate the world by crushing France and 
getting at Great Britain seemed to have been laid aside. 
She was looking instead for compensation in the East. 
When a declaration was made that the Central Powers were 
ready for a "general peace without forcible annexations and 
indemnities,'' it failed to stir a ripple on the Entente 
surface least of all in Washington, where there was no 
longer any disposition to take any German declaration as made 
in good faith. While the German delegates at Brest-Litovsk 
uttered fair words, the Kaiser had thundered forth his 
familiar boast that "the German sword and German iron," 
backed by the old "German God," awaited those who 
longer resisted German might. The determination of the 
Allied Governments was fixt and irrevocable that, so long 
as there existed in Germany a vast military force controlled 
by an irresponsible Government, they would not think of 
peace. Before any official, or even semi-official, copy of 
these German camouflaged terms reached the Entente 
Allies, Great Britain, France, and the United States had virtu- 
ally rejected them. Under cover of a formula, giving small 
races the right to choose their own political allegiance, the 
Germans had deliberately undertaken to create a land 
barrier between Slav races and the Baltic; in fact, to erect 
a German-controlled state comprising all the Russian Baltic 
ports from Libau to Reval, and including Pernau and Riga. 

8 A more detailed account of the Brest-Litovsk negotiations has already 
been given In Volime IV, Part XV, Chapter II. That account is here briefly 



If this proposal had become a reality, 150,000,000 Rus- 
sians would have been deprived of an outlet upon open 
waters, save on the Arctic and Pacific, and Russia would 
have been made industrially and economically a slave to 
Germany. Through Danzig and Konigsberg and through her 
new acquisitions, Libau and Riga, Germany would have con- 
trolled all Russian northern roads to the sea, and through 
mastery of the Turk at Constantinople, would have dom- 
inated the road from Russia to the Mediterranean. While 



Germany proposed to permit the people of certain Baltic 
provinces in Russia to decide their own allegiance that is, 
in Esthonia, Livonia, Courland, and Lithuania she would 
have so managed the proposed plebiscite as to have secured 
possession of the Baltic seacoast of Russia, and in addition 
the coast of the Gulf of Finland, which was the sea-gate of 
Petrograd. As Finland was to be independent, Russia would 
have been completely excluded from the Baltic, and the 
Baltic would have become a German lake. A state of some 



six millions of people, with an area about equal to that of 
New York State, that is, some 50,000 square miles, would have 
been interposed between 150,000,000 Russians and one of 
their two natural sea-gates. Of these some three millions 
would have been Lettish and Lithuanian, that is, Slav; up- 
ward of a million would have been Poles, who also are 
Slavs; perhaps half a million would have been Finns, and 
the remainder, Slavs, Jews, and Germans. Such a state 
would have had no real ethnic bond of union, nothing out 
of which might have been developed a nation, even of Balkan 

The Germans now occupied by force of arms most of this 
territory; the ruling class in it was German and eager to 
escape from a Bolsheviki Slavdom to a Prussianized Ger- 
many. These Germans were of the same spirit and held the 
same ideas as those other German minorities who ruled in 
East Prussia and Silesia over conquered Slavs. Having 
military control and aided by the ruling class, who were of 
the Junker order, they demanded that the fate of these 
provinces should be determined by a plebiscite and that this 
plebiscite should take place before their troops were with- 
drawn. The result of such a plebiscite could have been 
foreseen. Four million and a half to five million Slavs 
would have been swept into a German-made state, controlled 
by a tiny German minority, who maintained themselves by 
German bayonets. Another and even more gigantic Alsace- 
Lorraine would thus have been created. The German dele- 
gation to Brest-Litovsk pretended willingly to accept the 
Bolsheviki slogan of ''no annexations and no indemnities." 
It appeared later that to their minds this was only to be ap- 
plied to Russia proper. Germany's desire for peace was known 
to be acute but it was not a desire for peace for peace's sake ; 
it was peace for the sake of war gains. Her love of peace 
had been well indicated during three years that is, it was 
a peace which would satisfy Pan-German greed for new 
territory. Germany declined to give up the Russian terri- 
tory she had overrun and proposed to garrison the leading 
towns in it. By a military promenade she had placed her- 
self in readiness for the position she now took, that of 
blandly informing Russia that the principle of ''no in- 



demnities and no annexations" did not apply to Poland, 
Lithuania, Courland, Esthonia, and Livonia, because the 
future of these provinces had already been determined 
by their own people, as Germany had the cynicism to add 
and that she must retain for the present her garrisons in 
Riga and Libau. 

It was quite natural that Germany should exult over the 
separate peace she entered into at this time with the Ukraine, 
followed by a collapse of further opposition from the Bol- 
sheviki; but when the bell-ringing and the flag-waving were 
over, the question of establishing a political quarantine 
against her new-found friends promised to become as urgent 
as finding ways and means by which to acquire, on any 
terms, the surplus stocks of grain, oil, and minerals in the 
Ukraine. The Bolsheviki government, by February 24, when 
confronted with irresistible military force, announced their 
readiness to accept all the terms Germany had laid down. 
Without further hesitation they yielded to the enemy still 
more of their valuable western territory, extending from 
the Gulf of Finland southward, and even agreed to with- 
draw troops from Finland and give back to the Turks what 
had been taken from them in Asia. The surrender was 
thoroughly abject. Russia was at once to send a delega- 
tion to Brest-Litovsk to discuss with German representatives 
the final details of the peace and to sign a compact. 

Meanwhile the German armies gave no heed to this 
peace, but methodically pushed forward their line over more 
than 500 miles of front from the Gulf of Finland region 
to Volhynia, and nowhere met with any systematic attempts 
to hinder their progress. Additional towns were captured, 
several thousand Russians made prisoners, and nearly 3,000 
German and Austrian prisoners of war were liberated. 
Reval, Russia's principal port on the Finnish coast, was 
rapidly approached notwithstanding the snow-covered roads, 
troops were being pushed forward in forced marches, the 
desire of the German High Command evidently being to 
capture the port, which would be available, if necessity arose, 
as a base for operations by a fleet of war vessels against 
Kronstadt and Petrograd. The internal situation in Russia 
continued chaotic. So bad had conditions become in Petro- 



grad that a state of siege was declared by the military 
authorities. Reval, Russia's principal port on the Gulf of 
Finland, together with its fortress, was soon captured. 
Pskov, on the railway about 160 miles southwest of Petro- 
grad, fell into German hands, and southwest along the entire 
line the invaders everywhere steadily prest eastward, and 
in . their southern wing formed a junction with the 
Ukrainians at Zhitomir, 85 miles west of Kiev, which town 
it was their announced purpose to take from the Bolsheviki. 
Since the renewal of hostilities the Germans had taken over 
thousands of additional square miles of Russian territory, 
their advance virtually unimpeded. 

That Germany considered the convention she forced 
Lenine and Trotzky to sign as another "scrap of paper" 
was further shown when Teuton forces reached Jam- 
burg, a town only 68 miles from Petrograd. Further in- 
vasion of Russia had therefore not been abandoned. The 
Bolsheviki at the same time made a futile announcement 
that they would not permit the revolution to be defeated and 
exprest a determination to continue a "holy war," even if 
they were "forced back to the Ural Mountains." The text 
of a peace treaty signed at this time by Roumania served 
to show that the Central Powers were loath to forego any 
conquests they might make. One of the clauses of that 
treaty bound Roumanians to assist in the transportation of 
Teuton forces through Moldavia and Bessarabia on their 
way to Odessa, the "granary of Russia." Germany also 
negotiated a treaty with Finland by which the latter agreed 
not to cede to Russia any territory, or grant any territorial 
rights, without the consent of Germany, who, in considera- 
tion for this concession, covenanted to exert her influence 
to secure recognition of an independent Finnish Govern- 
ment from other nations. The Kaiser telegraphed to Hin- 
denburg: "Our Baltic brethren and countrymen are 
liberated from the Russian yoke and may again feel them- 
selves Germans." These "Baltic brethren" in Courland 
numbered less than 9 per cent, of the population ; in Livonia 
they were 8 per cent, in Esthonia less than that, and in 
Lithuania less than 2 per cent. 

The treaty of peace between the newly created Ukrainian 



Republic and the Central Powers had been signed at Brest- 
Litovsk on February 9. The frontier of Galicia remained 
as heretofore, but the Ukraine received a large portion of 
the Cholm province, amounting to more than 5,000 square 
miles, with a population considerably in excess of 1,000,000. 
This province formed part of the ancient Kingdom of 
Poland, and tho there were some districts containing White 
Russian inhabitants, the large majority of the people were 
of pure Polish descent. Further north the southern parts 
of the two provinces of Grodno and Minsk, including the 



fortress of Brest-Litovsk, were allocated under the terms of 
the treaty to the territory of that Republic. This further 
partition of Poland was at variance with the declarations 
of Count Czernin, the Austrian representative, who had 
proclaimed the wish of the Austro-Hungarian Government 
to create "an independent Polish State which should include 
all the territories the populations of which are indisputably 

The treaty made no contribution to the solution of the racial 
problem as between Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Poland, 



and left a population of between three and four millions 
of Little Russians under Austrian rule. Its provisions were 
in direct conflict with four principles which President 
Wilson laid down in his message to Congress on February 
11 as the basis of a peace settlement, and especially with 
the President's third proposition that "every territorial 
settlement involved in this war must be made in the in- 
terest and for the benefit of the population concerned, and not 
as a part of any mere adjustment or compromise of claims 
among rival States." The British Government took the lead 
in refusing to recognize a treaty which was opposed to the 
declared policy of the Allied Powers and the effect of which 
would be to reduce the Ukraine, with its population of 
30,000,000 Russian peasants, to the status of a vassal State 
under German domination. No treaty could receive the 
sanction of international law till a stable Government had 
been established in Ukrainian territory after the inhabitants 
had enjoyed an unrestricted freedom of "self-determination' 
in regard to -their future government. 

What Kiihlmann's terms of peace to Russia were, apart 
from those offered to, and accepted by, the Ukrainian Rada, 
the world did not definitely know, but he made it clear 
to Trotzky and other Russian delegates on the opening day 
of the conference at Brest-Litovsk that he had not come 
there to negotiate, but to impose terms which had been 
already fixt by the German Government. The delegates 
were bluntly told that they were the representatives of a 
conquered nation, and had no alternative but to throw 
themselves on the mercy of their conquerors or take the 
consequence of their refusal. Kiihlmann agreed to adopt 
"self-determination" as the guiding principle of a peace 
settlement, but it was to be the determination, not of the 
people concerned, but of Prussian bayonets. Beaten to his 
knees, Trotzky accepted the terms imposed on his country and 
agreed to sign the treaty. The Bolsheviki, on February 11, 
declared the state of war that had existed with the Central 
Powers at an end and ordered a demobilization of Russian 
forces on all fronts. 

Russia thus stept formally out of the war by act of the 
Bolsheviki, whose authority at this time seemed virtually 



unquestioned in northern Russia. The Teutonic Powers 
had already secured a cessation of hostilities elsewhere along 
the Eastern Front by imposing a peace on, the Ukraine and 
so isolating Roumania. Altho she had cut little figure in 
the war for nearly a year, Russia's great and vital part in 
the conflict in its early years came forcibly to mind as the 
circumstances leading up to her exit were now reviewed. 
Since August, 1917, she had figured in the great world con- 
flict as a military factor only by reason that she was still 
keeping numbers of German and Austrian troops on her 
frontieus. Whether the culmination of Germany's Ukrainian 
negotiations for a peace treaty was the determining factor 
in inducing the Bolsheviki to declare the state of war at an 
end was not clear, but it had become fairly evident that 
Germany had no idea of yielding to the Bolsheviki on the 
question of an evacuation of occupied Russian territory, 
which had been the sticking point in the negotiations, and 
that she was preparing virtually to ignore the Bolsheviki, 
as long as she could make peace with the Ukraine and secure 
the opening of her frontier to the grain-growing provinces 
controlled, nominally, by the Ukrainians. 

It appeared that the discussions at Brest-Litovsk had been 
particularly stormy and that they ended in a violent scene 
which bore all the seeds of a future conflict. Already at the 
German headquarters the war lords had been discussing 
"the eventuality of energetic military measures against the 
Russians." German newspapers noted that three hours 
after the news came of a demobilization order, another 
Russian message directed that this order be no longer 
circulated. The Bolsheviki were said to be energetically 
forming a Red Guard army out of the remnants of the 
Russian army, in the hope of raising a million men to estab- 
lish Bolshevikist power in the border States. Nothing in 
the way of definite terms, apparently had been accepted by 
the Russian people or by any authority supported by them. 
Nor was there any enthusiastic reception of the idea of 
peace with Russia by the German people. The practical 
meaning of the change in conditions was a puzzle all around. 
If it had been brought about with a view to drawing all Ger- 
man forces from the Eastern Front to the Western, there 



was no assurance that this was a safe thing to do. The 
Bolsheviki grip was liable to be broken at any time and 
there was no knowing what uprisings there might be, or what 
new leader might not arise to save Russia from being a victim 
of the greedy Teutonic monster. It looked as if the chief 
result would be simply to prolong the war and add to its 

It was plain that in working out common purposes the 
Russians under the old regime in the early days of the war had 
made earnest endeavors to enact the part which the war had im- 
posed upon them. In 1914 it was they who made the only great 
offensive into Germany and when driven out they had come 
back. Of all the Allies they had done the hardest fighting 
up to the close of 1915. At that time there had been 
1,200,000 Russians killed and only 800,000 Frenchmen and 
200,000 British: Nothing could be plainer than that, in the 
early years of the war, Russia had saved the day for France, 
Great Britain, and all the Allies. 9 Now, however, the West- 
ern Powers were left to carry on the war with their own 
resources and with the help of the United States, for even if 
there should be a counter-revolution in Russia and a con- 
stitutional government should be set up in Petrograd, the 
belligerent power of the country had been paralyzed by the 
events of twelve months. As an ally Russia in future would 
only be an incubus instead of a help to the Western Powers. 
With her armies beaten in the field and her people demoral- 
ized by internal anarchy, she had no alternative but to 
submit to a German peace, which had placed her under 
the iron heel of her conqueror until a decisive victory in 
the West restored the equilibrium which Russia had lost in 
the East. The situation in Ukraine presented one of the 
most intricate questions arising from conditions in the East. 
Dissatisfaction with the peace terms within a few weeks was 
widespread among peasants and workingmen, and was being 
aggravated by German requisitions of grain, sugar, and 
other products. The Rada, the chief legislative body, passed 
a vote of want of confidence in the Ukrainian Government 
after the treaty was signed. The high-handed methods of the 
Ukrainians by the Germans, leading to a conflict with the 

Isaac R. Penypacker In The American Historical Review, April, 1918. 



German commandant at Kief, resulted in the resignation of 
Mr. Petlura, a member of the Government. 

In so far as the Bolsheviki were sincere, they aspired to 
attain at once to a heroic maximum, and to transpose, at 
one bound, not only Russia, but all the world into the 
seventh heaven of the Communist creed. Hypnotized by this 
hope they shrank from no crime in order to hasten its con- 
summation. Their theory of wholesale expropriation rapidly 
degenerated in practice into plain brigandage and murder; 
political opponents were assassinated; the Church was 



despoiled; the treasury was sacked, and the Constituent 
Assembly, which was to have decided the future disposition 
of Russian lands, was dispersed by armed force. The 
masses, devoid of civic sense, hailed with almost delirious 
enthusiasm a doctrine which they forthwith translated for 
themselves in the primitive terms of "Bread, Land, and 
Peace.'* Even the Cossack proletariat became infected. 
Kaledine, the Cossack Hetman, seeing his forces melt away, 
and with them the last hope of restoring in a near future 



ordered government in Russia, committed suicide. What 
was left of the Russian classes looked on with the impassive 
detachment that they had always exhibited in the presence 
of an accomplished fact. By the so-called treaties Russia 
lost in the aggregate about one-fifth of her territory in 
Europe, including Finland, Estland, Livland, Courland, 
Poland, Lithuania, and the Ukraine, as well as gains she had 
made under the Berlin treaty of 1878 in the Caucasus; 
about one-third of her European population; one-third of 
her railways; about one-quarter of her internal revenues, 
and over three-quarters of her iron and coal fields. Russia, 
both north and south, was reduced to a condition of eco- 
nomic servitude, which had no parallel in history. 

The Kaiser persisted in an amusing pretense that the 
downfall of Russia had been a feat of arms on the part of 
German troops. Germans, he said, "led by ideal generals, 
had broken the Russian power and won the safety of the 
empire in the east." German generals had yet to prove, 
however, that they were ideal leaders somewhere else than 
in Russia. While a great empire had been torn from Russia 
and added temporarily to Germany, this had not been done 
by generalship. Generals had advanced into Russia when 
they could not have helped doing so unless they had been 
stricken with paralysis. Against any enemy of her own 
size, Germany had from the beginning of the war dashed 
herself in vain. She had never thus far been able to make 
gains in France after the Marne not on the Aisne, in 
Flanders, at Verdun, before Arras, or at the Chemin-des- 

In fact, she had by this time retreated from more than 
one-half the French territory that she seized in August, 
1914. She had won her success at Caporetto, not by arms, but 
by pacifist and Socialist propaganda, and she had been 
halted afterward. She had made conquests over little Bel- 
gium and, with aid from Bulgaria, Austria, and Turkey, 
other conquests over Serbia and Montenegro, and again with 
Austria, Turkey, and Bulgaria to help her, had defeated but 
not conquered Roumania. Roumania, in fact, had held her 
in check, until Germany debauched Russia, and so sur- 
rounded Roumania with enemies. After Russia fell into 



confusion, Germany had not dared to advance until the work 
of demobilization became complete; she would not challenge 
even Kerensky. The greatest militaristic nation of modern 
times the new Assyria really had had no great military 
conquests to boast of; her victories had been won against 
small States and were mainly the product of her propa- 
gandists instead of her soldiers. 

The streets of Petrograd had never been so quiet as now 
since the beginning of the war. The turbulent emotions of a 
year of revolution exhausted, the fever was slackening, the 
pulse of life low and depression and forebodings had become 
inarticulate. There had been by March 10 a great exodus. 
The Government was migrating to Moscow and let fall hints 
that Moscow would be proclaimed the capital, the Council 
of People's Commissaries to have its seat in the Kremlin, 
Lenine to sit in the seat of Peter the Great and Ivan the 
Terrible. Day after day many thousands waited on the 
Nevsky Prospect in Petrograd for permits to leave. Over- 
crowded trains moved off south and east with soldiers in the 
forefront, dismissed -workmen, and a miscellaneous mass of 
humanity afraid of starvation, afraid of unemployment, 
afraid of the invader, and of unknown calamities. Many 
thousands who could not go by trains went on foot through 
the snow." Many who had ready money to spare hired 
sledges and went driving off on a pilgrimage into the depths 
of Russia. 

There was no noise, no outward sign of panic, but 
a strange hush .about it all, a sad and patient resigna- 
tion, as if people were in the presence of an unintelligible, 
inexorable fate. Those who remained went wandering about 
streets, vaguely, hopelessly, asking for an explanation of 
conditions that had grown meaningless. Somehow the city 
still managed to live from hand to mouth. Refrigerators 
were emptied and their contents allotted among the popula- 
tion as a parting gift, so that for a few hours they had 
plenty of flour, dried vegetables and frozen goose. Half the 
cabmen had gone home to villages, after selling their horses 
to be killed for meat. Horse-meat now was a recognized 
article of diet, even in many families that were once well 
to do. Day after day one saw horses fall in the street and 



gathering around them were doleful crowds of idle onlookers 
willing to see them die. The bodies of these horses lay in 
the snow unburied for days. All sledges, motor-cars, and 
lorries had already been requisitioned for the evacuation, 
their movements for the week constituting almost the sole 
traffic of a once great industrial center. 10 

By March 10 Trotzky had followed another minister with 
his resignation. Of the Bolshevist triumvirate only Lenine 
was now left. Whether Lenine was consciously a German 
agent, receiving money for what he did, or whether he was 
only a fanatic unconsciously doing Germany's work, was 
of small consequence, since the work he had done was of the 
same character in either case. From the beginning Lenine 
had worked indefatigably, unswervingly, to do everything 
that Germany needed to have done. He found the army 
becoming demoralized and he destroyed it ; he found the 
people anxious for peace and he led them swiftly to the 
most shameful kind of peace that could be framed. If he 
was only a fanatic, then no fanatic in history ever worked 
such swift ruin on so vast a scale. The idea of those clown- 
and-harlequin negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, however, was 
Trotzky 's; that dismally comic figure had conceived a notion 
that a mouse could safely play with a cat; that he, the 
prolific and omniscient soap-box orator and newspaper writer 
of East Side New York, could discomfit the massed militarism 
of Germany by a negotiation which, on his part, consisted of 
smart repartees and clever speeches. When Trotzky came 
to the end of his game of mouse and cat he drew back from 
its frightful consequences and talked of fighting. Not soon 
would history forget the brisk, sleek and knowing cockney, 
jauntily stepping forward to confront the German war 
colossus and worst it with witty turns of phrase and confident 
similes. And the nimble adventurer actually got back into 

While the Entente Allies were "nibbling" at the German 
line from the North Sea to Switzerland, the Teutonic 
Powers took another step in exploitation of the East. Their 
advance guards entered Odessa, the principal Russian port 
on the Black Sea and the center of a great agricultural 

10 Harold Williams In a dispatch from Petrograd to The Times "(New York). 


Ceded area 
Self determined 

Area to be evacuated 

by Germany 

Scale of Miles 

In the above map the territory In black is that to which Russia, under 
Lenine and Trotzsky at Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918, renounced all terri- 
torial rights. The German army at that time was also holding territory as 
far east as the black line from Pskov to Homel. Kieff and Odessa were 
afterward occupied by the Germans and the Ukraine further invaded, the 
Crimea being occupied 

VII 344 


section, the products of which were desired for the hungry 
peoples of the Central Empires. The capture of Odessa 
meant to the German imagination something more an ad- 
vance over the northern route to Persia, the Persian Gulf 
and Afghanistan, and possibly to India, in spite of the 
fact that the British in Mesopotamia had severed the famous 
Berlin-Bagdad route via Asia Minor. Odessa was the fourth 
city of Russia in population and the largest shipping point 
of the country. Its population was 631,040 in 1912, nearly 
one-third of whom were Jews. Its situation near the great 
waterways of the Dnieper and the Dniester made it the 
natural outlet for the exports of the southwestern provinces. 
Here the Central Powers would be in touch with some of 
Russia's stored-up wheat, provided any supplies existed; 
for Odessa was the one Russian city equipped with grain 

It remained to be discovered how much wheat was there. 
The idea of an unprecedentedly large reserve was soon ex- 
ploded ; it was based on certain absurd trade estimates 
which pictured Russia, in the face of a breakdown of trans- 
portation, a depleted labor market, and the blockade of an 
export trade which had frequently absorbed one-third of 
her peace time crops, as raising in all the war years as 
large harvests as she had raised before. The strong proba- 
bility was that Russian wheat production had been steadily 
and rapidly diminishing a presumption which the known 
food-famine in the Russian cities quite bore out. Even if 
production had continued large there were no storage facili- 
ties in Russia for more than a moderate amount. Broom- 
hall, the Liverpool grain-trade expert, estimated that north- 
ern Russia was bare of supplies and that the Ukraine might 
have 40,000,000 bushels left, but even this figure was in the 
nature of the case largely guess work. Supposing it to be 
correct, only a part could be stored up in Odessa. Chicago, 
the largest of all grain-storage centers, had elevator capacity 
for no more than 55,000.000 bushels, and Odessa's capacity 
was much smaller. Furthermore, we were approaching the 
end of the grain marketing season of southern Russia, and 
in a season of famine demand at that. Forty million bushels 
would not go far toward feeding Russia herself until the 

v. vii 23 345 


July harvest. The country's own consumption of wheat in 
a single month in time of peace ran close to that figure. 
In March the semi-official Berlin correspondent of the 
Cologne Gazette telegraphed a warning against exaggerated 
hopes of food from Ukraine. He said the country was very 
unsettled, and it would take a long time to organize a trans- 
port system. All the big estates had been wrecked, and all 
their seed-corn pillaged. The only people who had any 
stocks were peasants, and they were suspicious of the Ger- 
man soldiery and unwilling to sell except in exchange for 
the hard cash of the old Czarist regime, since they did not 
trust the new Russian paper currency, or for German 
products which they might need, but which it would take 
some time for Germany to provide. The correspondent 
urged great patience and skepticism about reports of food 
to be had for Ukraine. 

Lenine and his Government reached Moscow on March 11 
and thus revived the ancient city's eminence as a capital 
city, an eminence which Peter the Great had taken from it 
215 years before when he went north to build a new city 
at the mouth of the Neva. Never had any government 
moved with less pomp, unless it was the government of 
Peter himself, who, like Lenine, had a genial disregard for 
non-essentials. After Lenine 's arrival the hall of the Na- 
tional Hotel was seen piled up with unimaginable rags and 
tatters of baggage, bedding rolled into blankets, tatter- 
demalion baskets and battered trunks. Lenine himself, the 
man with the most influence over his own followers, dom- 
inated this scene calm, fearless, and without a guard. 
Moscow had been badly scarred by the revolution. Corner 
houses, and sometimes the whole side of a street, had been 
pitted with bullet-holes. The Italian gate of the Kremlin 
was badly battered by shell-fire. Below a sacred picture 
on the gate, still hung an inscription declaring that, in the 
raid of Napoleon in 1812, the picture had survived un- 
damaged as by special provision of the Almighty. Half the 
shop-windows were boarded up. Many had windows with 
half a dozen bullet holes; others were patched up with 
paper. All the Kremlin gates except one were closed. 
Huge stores of ammunition were deposited inside, and hun- 



dreds of ammuaition carts, which went far to turn the 
old fortress of Ivan the Terrible into a new fortress of the 

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets on meeting in Moscow 
on March 16, by a vote of 453 to 30, decided to ratify the 
peace treaty with the Central Powers and then dissolved, but 
the Germans did not cease their inroads into Russia's rich- 
est territory in the south. Nikolaiev, the great navy-yard 
city northeast of Odessa, the headquarters of the High Com- 


mand of the Russian Black Sea fleet, was taken. Situated 
at tjie mouth of the Bug River its capture gave the Germans 
a water route of value through the rich agricultural country 
from Volhynia to the Euxine. That peace terms had been 
offered at this time to Great Britain was inferred from 
several significant statements. Lord Robert Cecil, when 
asked if proposals "had been received for a peace at the 
expense of Russia," answered that ''no such proposals are 
being considered or will be considered." It was admitted 


that offers of peace had been made to Serbia by Austria- 
Hungary and Bulgaria, but Serbia had refused to consider 
them. The attitude of the American Government was di- 
rectly in line with the statement of Lord Robert Cecil. 

Altho the All-Russian Congress of Soviets had ratified the 
peace treaty, everybody in Russia realized that the agree- 
ment was purely temporary. About eighty of the Bolshevik 
delegates did not vote. The Social Revolutionaries of the 
Left announced that they "would not share the responsibility 
of putting the peace conditions into effect." The general 
character of the meeting at which ratification was decided 
upon was not that of serious debate, the real work of per- 
suasion having been already done in private factional meet- 
ings. Not a single speaker suggested that the peace could 
be anything but transitory. A prominent Bolshevist said: 
"Our hope now is in Hindenburg and Ludendorff. If they 
are puffed up by their success in the east and are refused an 
agreement in the west, then the war will continue and the 
eventual victory of the revolution is assured." 

Notwithstanding that peace with Germany had been rati- 
fied, the German advance in Russia continued, evacuation of 
Petrograd having served only to change the German objective 
to Moscow. Germans were moving toward Moscow from 
three directions, southwest, west, and northwest. The Soviet 
Government was rapidly disarming and disbanding the old 
army and eliminating its influence from public affairs, but 
old soldiers at many places were found unwilling to sur- 
render their arms and return to work. When at Petrograd 
three regiments refused to be demobilized, the Bolshevik 
Red Guards entered the barracks, surprized the sleeping 
soldiers, seized their arms and forced them to leave the city, 
stating that these regiments were under influences contrary 
to the revolutionary movement, that they were lazy and un- 
disciplined and refused to assist in guard duty. 

In explanation of the evacuation of Petrograd, the Soviet 
issued a statement saying the commissioners had gone to 
Moscow to save Petrograd from destruction, believing that 
the removal would demonstrate the strength of the Russian 
people's government, and show the Germans that capture of 
the capital would be useless, as the Government was pre- 


pared to fall back constantly before an advance, resisting 
and slowing down the onslaught. The evacuation of Petro- 
grad began in the second week of March. Trotzky had an- 
nounced that "the leaders of the revolution were prepared 
to fall back even to the Ural Mountains." Moscow was to 
become the new capital, and Petrograd proclaimed a free 
port. All State institutions would be transferred to Moscow, 
Nizhni-Novgorod, and Kaza. When the population of Petro- 



grad began once more to quit the city, many transportation 
difficulties were met with. All roads leading from Petrograd 
were crowded with all sorts of vehicles. 

Roumania was now on the point of effecting a separate 
peace with the Teutonic allies, meeting hard demands exacted 
in return for a cessation of Teutonic inroads into the little 
kingdom, now absolutely isolated from its Allies. A pre- 
liminary peace treaty had been signed by March 7, and the 
armistice extended so that discussion of a formal treaty 
might begin. Among the chief demands was the cession 



of the Dobrudja, rectification of the Hungarian-Roumanian 
border, certain great economic advantages for the Central 
Powers and unmolested passage for troops through Moldavia 
and Bessarabia to Odessa. 

The anti-German feeling in Ukraine soon showed itself in 
the difficulties the Germans had in collecting grain. Small 
bands of revolutionaries sometimes were able to seize and 
make away with whole trains of food, already on the way to 
Germany. An endless series of sporadic peasant risings oc- 
curred which made it unsafe for the Germans to move ex- 
cept in considerable companies. Arrests were made by 
various associations of persons who were prominent in help- 
ing the Germans. The net result showed the anti- 
Germanism of the bulk of the Ukrainian population and 
further that they would look, not to their own bourgeoisie 
for salvation, but to Russia. The Germans found they had 
camped in a hornets' nest. 11 

When the Committee of the Soviet Associations declined 
the humiliating terms offered for acceptance at Brest-Litovsk, 
General Hoffmann had declared that German troops would 
continue to advance till peace was concluded. The committee 
then yielded to force majeure, and the treaty was signed on 
March 2. By its terms the state of war was declared at an 
end, and the belligerent nations concerned ''resolved hence- 
forth to live in peace and friendship together." Russia 
agreed to evacuate the territories that had been taken from 
her and refrain from any interference in their internal affairs, 
leaving "Germany and Austria to decide their future fate 
in agreement with their populations. ' ' The practical effect 
of this treaty, if its provisions could be finally enforced, so 
far as European Russia was concerned, was to give Germany 
military and economic control over Finland, Livonia, 
Esthonia, Poland, and the Ukraine. The ceded territory 
amounted to about 435,000 square miles, with a population of 
between fifty-five and sixty millions. Petrograd was the 
only port left to Russia on the Baltic Sea, and there seemed 
a likelihood of this port eventually coming under German 
control. Russia also engaged not only to complete the 
evacuation of Anatolia, but to cede to Turkey the districts 

11 Moscow dispatch from Arthur Ransome to The Time* (New York). 



of Ardahan, Kars, and Batum. Russia was not to interfere 
in the reorganization of the constitutional and international 
conditions of these districts, but was to "leave it to the pop- 
ulation of these districts to carry out the reorganization in 
agreement with the neighboring States, particularly 

This article gave back to Turkey the whole of the 
territory which was taken from her in 1878 by the Treaty of 
Berlin, and had great significance as far as Great Britain 
was concerned. The Germans now had direct railway access 
to the Caspian Sea, and German newspapers were talking 
of "Germanizing" the strategical railway extending from 
Krasnovodsk to Tashkent along the northern frontiers of 
Persia, Afghanistan, and Kashmir, with lines to Kushk, 
Termez, and Marghilan. The Tiflis-Julfa railway was open 
to Tabriz, and the British position in Mesopotamia was 
imperilled. A "shorter cut" to India than the route by the 
Bagdad railway was opened to Germany. In fact, the Rus- 
sian menace to India removed by the Anglo-Russian Con- 
vention in 1908 had been transferred to Germany so at 
least Germans fondly assured one another. 

"In southwestern Finland we have overwhelmingly de- 
feated the enemy during a five days' battle near Lakhti 
and Tavasthus, capturing 20,000 prisoners," said the Ger- 
man official communication issued on May 3. This defeat, by 
the Germans, of the Bolshevist Red Guard with the loss of 
20,000 prisoners, coming on the heels of the victory of the 
White Guard, or Finnish Government forces, at Viberg, on 
April 1, apparently freed the former Grand Duchy from 
Bolshevist influence and placed it under German dominance. 
German influence had always been strong in Finland, due 
to the fact that before the war thousands of Finns went 
annually over into East Prussia for the logging season, and 
returned with marks and German Kultur. Of the entire 
population, however, of 4,000,000, including 3,000,000 Finns, 
there were only about 2,000 Germans to 500,000 Swedes and 
8,000 Russians. Finland had been the first of the countries 
of Russia to declare her independence of the Petrograd 
Government after the Bolshevist coup d'etat of November 
7,. 1917. Indeed, independence had already been voted by 



the Landtag as early as October, when the Provisional Gov- 
ernment, then under Kerensky, abolished the legislative 
functions of the Landtag and ordered a new election. All 
through the peace game played at Brest-Litovsk, in Decem- 
ber and January, a new Government was being organized 
at Helsingfors with a military force under General Manner- 
heim. This force, as soon as it came in contact with the 
invading Red Guard on the road between Viborg and Petro- 
grad, toward the last of January, became known as the 
White Guard. 

Significant facts were cited as showing Russian conditions. 
In a single day in Kief 1,048 Russian soldiers had been mur- 
dered by a Bolshevist mob. Many other murders had oc- 
curred in Petrograd, and not a single conviction had been 
secured for them. Courts had been abolished. There were 
"rump" trials, where anybody in the audience had the 
privilege of testifying, asking questions or making speeches. 
In the streets of Petrograd former generals in uniform could 
be seen selling newspapers, while ladies in sealskin coats 
were shoveling snow. Bolshevist soldiers stood by laughing 
gleefully at such scenes. People who were formerly well- 
to-do had been reduced to menial employment. Many noble- 
women begged food from house to house. The orgies on 
Russian ships in various ports were said to beggar descrip- 
tion. Officers were murdered by their men, and men took pos- 
session of the vessels. Former royal yachts were scenes of 
revels in which the basest passions had free rein. The black 
flag and the skull and crossbones were flying over the fortress 
of Peter and Paul. 

No sooner was the treaty with Ukraine signed than 
Germany sent an army into the coast provinces and took 
over full control of Odessa and Sebastopol. She then 
fortified her hold by seizing the capital, Kief, and placing 
the country under German military rule. She arrested 
members of the Cabinet and Rada, whom she considered un- 
favorable to her, and set up a government in which there 
was not one Ukrainian serving in a ministerial capacity. 
The excuse offered for this severity was that the "Govern- 
ment was too weak." Its weakness, however, as disclosed 
in the official statement, consisted in its inability to supply 



Germany with cereal products. The Central Powers had 
demanded the entire store of some of the grains and 85 per 
cent, of the wheat. Peasant farmers refused to accede to 
these demands and arose in revolt. In repressing these up- 
risings German troops killed many of the inhabitants and 
seized all food stores in rebellious districts. 

No other sentence in President Wilson's Red Cross Speech 
in New York on May 18, 1918, was so enthusiastically ap- 
plauded as this: "So far as I am concerned, I intend to 
stand by Russia as well as by France." No problem of the 


The police at this time were supporting the reactionary element 

war had become more intricate and difficult of solution than 
this Russian problem; and yet, unless it w#s solved, the war 
would have been practically lost, because in its opportunity 
to exploit a broken and helpless Russia, Pan-Germanism had 
found a prize beyond its wildest dreams of conquest when 
the war began. It was easy for us to see how we could help 
France, because France was mostly intact and could help 
herself. We had only to supply her with her deficiencies 
in her long battle against Prussianism, to send her men and 
supplies and provide money to the limit of our ability, all 



of which was relatively simple. We not only knew what to 
do. but we were rapidly learning how to do it with the least 
delay and the greatest efficiency. 

But Russia was a problem peculiar to Russia. There was 
no Government in the country with which we could co- 
operate. There was no Government that invited, or would 
accept, our co-operation. If it had been a question of send- 
ing troops to reinforce Russian troops, if it had been a 
question of furnishing supplies to make good Russia's 
shortage, or if it had been a question of lending money to 
a people impoverished by bad government and by war, that 
would have been a simple matter. In dealing with- Russia, 
there was seemingly no place in which to begin. One fact, 
however, was plain ; a defeated German autocracy, a Ger- 
many whose military power and prestige had been broken, 
would not be able to enslave Russia, would not be able to 
hold vast Russian provinces in subjection, would not keep 
Russia in vassalage and exploit her population and resources 
in preparation for another and greater war for German 

There were excellent reasons for believing that Ger- 
many's next peace proposal would involve generous terms 
in the west in exchange for a free hand in the east. Had 
the Allies been deluded into accepting such terms they would 
have lost the war. They would have given the future peace 
of the world into Germany's hands as a hostage. The sav- 
ing of Russia from the grip of Prussianism had become an 
essential part of any peace plan worthy of consideration 
by the Entente Allies. Had it not been for the fighting of 
Russian soldiers early in the war, Germany might have won 
on the Western Front. Russia had suffered 8,000,000 cas- 
ualties, and in the soil of that stricken land were the graves 
of 2,000,000 Russian soldiers. The Russians had fought 
when they had no guns, had faced Germans when armed 
with knives or spades, ai;d they did not give up until they 
were dead or wounded. When the great collapse occurred, 
there was only one surgeon at the front for each 4.000 

All revolutions have had certain features in common. In 



all there was the same blotting out of the past, the same 
confidence that the world could be started anew with a clean 
sheet, the same orgy of disheveled idealism, the same disso- 
lution of the structure of society. The future of a revolu- 
tion depends upon the shaping elements which it may con- 
tain of a new world order. Nature will not tolerate a vaccum. 
The old must be replaced by a new, and the new must 
be of the same quality as the old in that it is an organiza- 
tion which will integrate and direct the nation. The fatal weak- 
ness of Russia's condition was that there was no such organ- 
ization. Her revolution had come, not from the burning in- 
spiration of new faith, but from sheer weariness. She had 
lost nerve and heart; was tired in mind and body. It was 
instructive to remember how different was the case of France 
after 1789. There it had been the movement of a whole 
people inspired by a definite creed of life, a people which 
knew, however crudely, what it wanted, and was determined 
to "achieve certain positive results. In Russia it was simply 
an automatic crumbling of old things, leaving the great 
mass of the population with no object to strive for. In 
France the leaders of the Revolution had been essentially 
Frenchmen of that stubborn middle-class which could create 
and continue to provide a force of social persistence. Some 
of them were mad, like Marat and Robespierre, but the ma- 
jority were soldiers, lawyers, and men of affairs who could 
govern other men. 

In Russia there was no such dependable middle-class. 
The men who alone had -a policy were International An- 
archists and Socialists, whose creed was one of furious 
negations. Again, the French Revolution did not come upon 
a tired France. It broke down old barriers, and released a 
flood of energy which naturally fell into' military channels. 
Its laws may have been harsh and cruel, but it was an organ- 
ization and presently it took shape, in a formidable army. 
In Russia war-weariness made each step in her Revolution 
movements away from the .discipline of soldiers, while she 
was in the midst of a struggle of life and death. France 
acquired from her Revolution n new and deep consciousness of 
nationality, but Russia lost what little she had possest. The 
autocracy had held in formal union elements different in 


race, speech, religion, and social tradition. With its dis- 
appearance the great Empire began to split up like the ice 
on a lake when the binding spell of frost is withdrawn. 
The ideals of the new leaders were cosmopolitan, and there was 
no real nationalism to set against them. 

Lenine, otherwise Ulianov, was a scion of a noble house 
in the Simbirsk district, who, after his elder brother's death 
on the gallows for complicity in a Nihilist plot, had become 
an active leader in revolutionary propaganda. From 1900 
onward he was in Switzerland, where he created the extreme 
left wing of the Social Democrats. From 1905 to 1907 he 
was in Russia, where he found the reform party not yet 
ripe for his intransigence. His chance did not come till the 
outbreak of the Revolution, when he was permitted by the 
German Government to journey overland from Switzerland 
to Petrograd. He was in his own way the most consistent 
politician alive, for he had never wavered from the creed 
of destruction which he had formulated at seventeen, and 
which now, at the age of forty-six, he had a chance to put 
into practise. He accepted German assistance and German 
gold, but he had as little love for the Hohenzollerns as he 
had for the Romanoffs. He held his somber faith with the 
passion of a dervish, and, without sense of humor or pro- 
portion, set about rebuilding the world after his own crude 
patterns. But in the nature of things he could not live to see 
any new structure rise; his part had to be to destroy the 
old social system everywhere, that the poor and opprest 
might at least be free of the taskmasters. Such a creed was 
not without a somber greatness, and beyond doubt Lenine 
was a single-hearted fanatic, without fear or self-seeking, 
merciful and gentle in the common relations of life, but 
pitiless in the service of his cause. He knew that for him 
there was no hope; sooner or later he would go down in 
the ruin he had made; but he was content if those who 
came after him to carry the last fort should find his body 
prostrate by the wall. 

This Russian tale was too pitiful to linger over. The 
brethren of men who had conquered at Rawa Ruska and 
Przasnysz, who had carried out the greatest retreat in all 
history, who had fought with, clubs, fists and sword-bayonets 



when they had no rifles, whose resolution no weight of ar- 
tillery could daunt, and whose ardor no privations could 
weaken, who had come in their simple hardihood to the pin- 
nacle of martial greatness had now sunk into a mob of 
selfish madmen, forgetful of their old virtues and babbling 
of uncomprehended pedantries. Most pitiful was the case 
of those who still remained true to their faith, and were 
murdered or trodden down by a panic-stricken horde, and of 
officers who loved their men like children, and saw their 
life's work ruined and themselves engulfed in a common 



shame. No great deed, it is true, can wholly fail. The 
exploits of Russia during the first years of the war could 
never die. Their memory would surely survive to be a 
treasure and an inspiration for the Russia yet to be. But 
at the moment, to Brusileff and his heartbroken captains, 
who strove during those awful days to stay the rout in the 
Galician valleys, it seemed that a horror of great darkness 
had fallen upon the world, and that the best life blood of 
their country had been idly shed. 12 

12 Principal Sources : The London Times' "History of the War" ; The Times, 
The World, The Evening Post, New York ; "Nelson's History of the War" by 
John Buchan principally derived from John Buchan's superb narrative. 








June 20, 1918 June, 1919 

IT was now demonstrated that Russia could not be re- 
stored to the independence which Germany, with help 
from the Bolsheviki, had taken from her, except through an 
Entente victory. From Germany Russia had nothing to gain, 
except continued oppression. Nor had Russia anything to 
gain from a negotiated peace, except further subjection to 
Germany. Therefore, if the Allies intervened in Russia, 
either with a military force, or with a purely economic one, 
or with both, it had to be for the distinct purpose of build- 
ing up again an eastern Allied war-front. Situated as she 
was behind a strong natural barrier, from which it was 
doubtful if the western Allies alone could drive her, Ger- 
many wanted and sought peace, and really had to have 
peace if she was ever to develop the Russian territory she 
had seized. She could afford to give up Alsace-Lorraine and 
all of Belgium, including even the iron and coal lands of 
northern France, provided she could retain enough territory 
in Russia to get control of Russia's vast mineral resources. 
In fact, she could afford to pay with one hand an indemnity 
for having ravished Belgium, if she could take the money 
with the other hand out of Russia. She sought peace on 
such terms only Alsace-Lorraine to go to France, Belgium 
to be restored, and she to have a free hand in the east. The 
only course that seemed left for the Entente, under the cir- 
cumstances, was to rebuild the Russian front through an 
intervention seeking to restore the eastern frontier, for Ger- 
many could not be allowed to have Russia for exploitation 
after the war. 



Late in June it became known that a serious revolt had 
occurred at Kief. Artillery stores had been exploded, there 
was continuous street fighting, and the revolt spread to the 
Poltava and Chernigof districts. Forty thousand peasants 
armed and organized had participated in the uprising. A 
real revolt of peasants about Moscow and Kief, the chief 
city of the Ukraine, had long been regarded by friends of 
Russia as practically the only means of saving the country. 
The peasants comprised more than 90 per cent, of the popu- 
lation, and if they had been even partially organized and pro- 
vided with any kind of leadership, they could before this 
have swept the Germans out of Russia. It was recalled that 
( Napoleon had easy going in Russia until the peasants were 
aroused by the burning of Moscow. The action of the Ger- 
mans in taking away land which the peasants had pre- 
empted, and in levying upon them forced contributions of 
grain and other products, had been the best way possible 
for driving them into revolt. 

The Ukrainian Government, set up by the German mili- 
tary pro-consul, von Eichhorn, was finding that to do Ger- 
many's bidding was difficult, if not perilous. Obstinate 
peasants would not empty their granaries to feed Austria- 
Hungary and Germany, but would instead burn their stores 
of grain and let their fields lie untilled. There had been 
mutterings of discontent ever since the mirage of a Ukrainia 
for the Ukrainians, as conjured up at Brest-Litovsk, had 
vanished into dreams and a nightmare. The illusions of 
"self-determination" had lasted only until a German task- 
master could get installed in Kief and German food collectors 
could ' ' get busy. ' ' Even the government which had sold the 
Ukraine into German servitude had been overthrown and a 
new and more pliant government established, propt up by 
German bayonets, and now this second regime was faced by 
a peasant revolt so serious as to make necessary a demand 
on Berlin for armored cars and troops with which to tran- 
quilize the country. 

Germany, when she no longer had to fight organized 
Russian troops, had shifted most of her eastern divisions to 
France, where Ludendorff was making his last gambler's 
throw in the 1918 offensive, but she now found that she had 



to fight chaos not only in parts of Russia which she had 
appropriated, but in the bulk of the old Romanof Empire 
which she had turned over to Lenine and Trotzky. The 
order which she had set up in Poland, in the Ukraine and in 
the Black Sea region could not stand on its own feet, but 
had to be backed up by military force. And with demands 
for man-power in the West and on the Italian Front, every 
new division sent back into Russia represented a dispersion 
of German energy. At Brest-Litovsk Germany had over- 
reached herself. She had created a running sore, had 
fomented a reign of anarchy which she could not safely flee 
from, and which it would cost her a 'great waste of military 
effort to exorcise. Russia was still a peril to Germany. The 
Ukraine had got into a state of countrywide revolution. The 
Germans had sent in reinforcements, which reached a total 
at one time of thirty -five divisions (420,000 men), while the 
peasants had only several small armies of from 15,000 to 
20,000 each. Korniloff, former Commander-in-Chief of the 
Russian Army, and one of the anti-Bolsheviki leaders, of- 
fered what was left of his army to oppose the Germans, mak- 
ing the one proviso that negotiations should be opened with 
the Entente, who, he believed, would help in expelling the 

Stirring scenes took place at this time during a Pan- 
Soviet Congress at Moscow, the German Ambassador, Count 
von Mirbach, occupying one box and representatives of the 
Allies another. A delegate from the Ukraine rose and 
denounced German Imperialism and its influence, two hun- 
dred and fifty members cheering him wildly, while Mirbach 
and his suite sat stiffly erect. "The Germans have come 
to the Ukraine," the delegate said, "to obtain bread, but 
they won't get it. "Whenever the Germans have loaded 
trains, we have blown them up, and have treated likewise all 
artillery and magazines in the Ukraine. The Germans sought 
to transfer huge aviation machinery from Odessa and Niko- 
laieff to the Krupp Works, but we blew it up. The Ger- 
mans will be wiped out in the Ukraine. They already have 
paid in thousands of lives for their tyranny." "Down 
with Mirbach!" cried other delegates; "Down with the 
lackeys of Mirbach the Bolsheviki!" Another speaker 



charged the recent surrender of the Russian Black Sea Fleet 
to Germany, as virtual treason, and, turning to Mirbach, 
said: "Revolutionary Russia and the Ukraine will no longer 
remain passive. These contemptible dogs of despots are 
strangling our brothers in the Ukraine." After this the 
entire audience made an anti-Mirbach demonstration, shout- 
ing: "Away with these robbers! Throw them out." Early 
in July Mirbach was assassin- 
ated in Moscow. 

What would the arrogant 
government in Berlin do to 
Russia now? While all the 
world was wondering about it, 
a semi-official announcement 
came from Berlin that Russia 
was "doing all that was possi- 
ble to punish the murderers." 
Men recaMed after this state- 
ment that in June, 1914, 
Serbia had been ready to 
do all that was possible to 
aid in punishing the mur- 
derers of the Austrian Arch- 
duke, assassinated at Sara- 
jevo; in fact, she was pre- 
pared to go to any lengths 
short of abdicating her 
sovereignty to assist the 
Austro-Hungarian Government 
in bringing the criminals to 
justice, despite the fact that the actual murder was not 
committed upon Serbian soil, but upon Austro-Hungarian 
soil and by a subject of Austria-Hungary. But Serbia's 
readiness met with no more sympathetic response in Berlin 
than it did in Vienna, simply because Germany's prepara- 
tions for a great war were then complete, and the opportu- 
nity to strike had come. Murder, and particularly a politi- 
cal murder, had then to be avenged in the name of 
"Deutschland" and "Weltmacht," and so the world had 
been plunged into this maelstrom of blood and destruction. 

Mirbach was appointed German 
Ambassador to Russia after the 
negotiation of the Brest-Litovsk 
Treaty. His tyrannical ways ex- 
asperated the Russians and he was 

V. VII 24 



It was different with assassination in Russia in 1918. Altho 
the German Ambassador at Moscow was killed on Russian 
soil and by Russians, the Soviet Government was not held 
responsible, nominally because the crime was committed by 
political opponents of the Bolsheviki, but in reality because 
such action did not accord with the military policies of the 
German Government. The Bolsheviki were in effect Allies, 
and the difficulties of Germans in holding Russian territory 
were increasiiig from day to day. Assassination to the Ger- 
man mind was a crime to be dealt with ruthlessly or not, 
according to the effect that it might have upon the strategic 
policies of the German Government. If a war was wanted 
assassinations could be made to promote war, but if one had 
more war on his hands than he could conveniently attend to, 
a political murder could safely be left to the ordinary 
processes of justice. 

Former Austro-Hungarian prisoners, Czecho-Slovaks, who 
had been interned in the heart of Siberia, had now armed 
and organized themselves to aid the cause of the Entente. 
While the Allied Governments had been debating the ques- 
tion of military intervention, these Czecho-Slovaks, driven 
by necessity, had effectively intervened until they had so 
far got control of vital parts of the Siberian railroads, as 
to have made any Allied intervention which might come 
later more than a mere parade from Vladivostok to the Ural 
Mountains. Czecho-Slovaks had possession not only of Vladi- 
vostok, but west of Lake Baikal were reported in undis- 
puted possession of the Siberian Railroad and to have crossed 
into Russia proper, taking Ekaterinburg, on the eastern 
slope of the Urals. In fact, they had carried the frontier 
from which the Allies could exert military pressure to 
deGermanize Russia, to points more than 5,000 miles west of 
Vladivostok with only a relatively short section of the Sibe- 
rian Railroad that between the Chinese Border and Lake 
Baikal remaining in the hands of the Bolsheviki. 

Dispatches from Tokio and Peking announced at this time 
the creation of a new Siberian State to fight the Central 
Powers, establish a Constitutional Assembly and restore law 
and order. The flag consisted of two stripes of white and 
green, the former representing the vast snow covering of 



Siberian plains, the latter the verdure of Siberian forests. 
The program included the liberation of Siberia from the 
Bolsheviki, the avoidance if possible of foreign intervention, 
the establishment of provincial councils, and a labor bureau, 
and the distribution of land among those possessing none, 
as well as control of economic activities. Siberia was thus 
to become the first democratic State in Russian history, and 
would have been set up by foreigners. The new government 
was to fight the Central Powers. The people to a man SUP- 

In this group are American, British, French, Japanese and Czech soldiers 

ported the new regime. A defeat of the Bolsheviki in "West- 
ern Siberia occurred late in June, and forced them to evac- 
uate Irkutsk. The counter-revolution, assisted by the Czecho- 
slovaks, soon spread over other parts of Siberia. 

People occupying the Kola Peninsula on the Murman coast 
in the north, about this time broke loose from the Bolsheviki, 
refused to be bound by the Brest-Litovsk treaty, and de- 
clared their loyalty to the Allies. Little by little different 
localities were thus breaking away from the central govern- 


ment and establishing local governments of their own, which 
they declared independent of the Soviets. These bands of in- 
dependents, however, were entirely disjointed, with no or- 
ganization of their own for the purpose of local administra- 
tion. Kola, bounded by the northern tip of the Scandina- 
vian Peninsula, the Arctic Ocean, and the White Sea, con- 
tains the town of Kola on Kola Bay, which port, by virtue of 
the vagaries of the Gulf Stream, is open all the year round, 
while Archangel, further south on the White Sea, is open 
only in summer months. Kola was the termin-us of the new 
railroad, constructed since the war began, to establish direct 
communication from the sea to the interior by a line open 
all the year. The Allies here had an open base, giving them 
local protection, and saving thousands of miles of travel. 

The supplies they had sent to Archangel were therefore now 
under a certain degree of protection. The Bolshevik! had 
been doing all in their power to seize them, and there had 
been considerable fighting in the general region of the White 
Sea port. Since the beginning of the war $750,000,000 
worth of materials had been sent from this country to Arch- 
angel and Kola. In 1917 shipments to Archangel and Kola 
totalled $314,630,000, most of which remained there still. 
Including materials sent to Vladivostok, America had sent 
goods to Russia, altogether, to the value of $1,080,000,000 
since the war began. Fear as to hostile developments in 
Russia was becoming a palpable thing in Germany. For 
months no unwelcome news from Russia had been published 
in Germany, the people being kept in ignorance of the sit- 
uation. Letters from occupied districts, however, did not 
hide the feeling that existed against the Germans. The 
Bolsheviki were becoming more and more isolated, largely 
due to hatred of the Brest-Litovsk peace. Anti-German 
feeling had been growing as a consequence of this treaty. 

On July 22 news came that the former Czar Nicholas had 
been shot in Siberia by order of the Bolshevists, who feared 
that the Czecko-Slovaks were advancing to rescue him. His 
execution, as contemporary accounts described it, was car- 
ried out in a manner that caused regret among people sin- 
cerely sympathetic with the Revolution. Shunted from place 
to place, apparently often maltreated, and at last condemned 



by a local Soviet, he had suffered the fate of Louis XVI., 
without that open and reasonably fair opportunity to present 
his case that was accorded to the French monarch. Late 
in December, 1918, came a dispatch from Carl W. Acker- 
man, 13 dated at Ekaterinburg, giving a "detailed account of 
the Czar's end. ' An eye-witness represented what was thought 
to have been Nicholas intriguing with military leaders for 
the restoration of the monarchy, and that discovery of this 
plot by the Ural District Soviet had caused an order, to 


be given for his execution. But whether he was actually 
shot was "a mooted question in Ekaterinburg which will 
never be definitely solved until the Czar or his body is 
found." Meanwhile he was considered dead, altho all the 
members of his family might be still alive. 

This account came from Parfen Alexeievitch Dominin, 
who for 21 years had served the Czar as major-domo, ac- 
companied him into exile and remained with him until the 
early hours of the morning of July 17, when the Czar was 

13 Correspondent of The Times (New York). 



led away by Bolshevist soldiers. Report after report, each 
different from others, continued to be printed until weeks 
after the war ended. Early in January, 1919, an account 
came from an "official" witness who described 14 an Imperial 
pyre, the ashes of which contained shoe buckles, corset-steels, 
crosses and diamonds, "but no bones." Doubt rose as to 
whether the bodies of the Imperial Family had been burned 
at all, some saying they were buried, others that they were 
thrown into a lake. Whatever disposition had been made of 
the body, or bodies, there seemed little conflict in contem- 
porary testimony that the Czar, if not the whole Royal 
Family, had been put to death. History, however, might 
have to be content with an inconclusive verdict. Claimants 
to being Nicholas Romanoff, the former Czar, might rise up 
just as had been the case with the Dauphin of the Revolu- 
tion, and Marshal Ney. 

From the first the Allies had made it clear that they did 
not intend to recognize the Brest-Litovsk treaty. It had 
been forced upon the Russians, was based on the idea of 
conquest, and distinctly contemplated the dismemberment 
and exploitation of Russia. Thus it was of. the essence of 
that militarism which the war was being fought to extirpate. 
If the treaty stood, the whole Allied program for a league of 
Nations, and for the right of nations, great and small, to 
self-determination, would be brought to the ground. In 
Russia itself the treaty was soon stoutly opposed. In May, 
]918, the Inter-party Council of the All-Russian Constituent 
Assembly made a declaration that the treaty was "not recog- 
nized," and that Russia was, and continued to be, "in a 
state of war with Germany." Dispatches from Constantino- 
ple in July implied that even Turkey, an ally of Germany, 
did not intend to be bound by it. 

In Germany itself there were significant admissions that 
the treaty was a failure and a distinct movement set in to 
have it revised. One of the reasons why Kuhlmann fell 
into disfavor in July, 1918, and was dismissed from the 
Foreign Office, was that the treaty which he thought such a 
triumph had turned out unsatisfactory and unpopular. 
Among Germans there had been steadily growing up a 

14 In a cable dispatch to The World (New York). 



feeling quite apart from any fear that the treaty, in the hos- 
tility which it had stirred up among the Russians, was play- 
ing into the hands of the Allies, that it was bad in itself 
and that it ought to be revised in order to make it more 
tolerable to the Russians. Signs abounded that it was break- 
ing down of its own weight. Not only were Germans dis- 
contented with it, but Austria was restless under some of its 
provisions, and Bulgaria and Turkey were at loggerheads 
over it. In fact the golden idol of German annexationists 
was found to have feet of clay, and it was only a question 


Odessa was captured by the Germans after they had made 
peace with Russia 

of time when they would crumble and bring the idol's torso 
crashing down. 

On July 31 Eichhorn, German commander in the Ukraine, 
and his adjutant, Dressier, were mortally wounded by a 
bomb, thrown while they were driving to their headquarters 
from the Casino in the Ukrainian capital, Kief, and died 
that night. The bomb was thrown from a cab which was 
driven close to the Field-Marshal's carriage. The assassin 
and the cab-driver were both arrested. The crime had 
originated with the Social Revolutionists in Moscow. The 



assassin, a youth of 23, declared that he came from the 
province of Ryazan, adjacent to Moscow, on orders from a 
Committee of the Social Revolutionists to kill the Field- 
marshal. He had reached Kief that day, having been sup- 
plied by the Committee with a bomb, a revolver, and some 
money. The assassination gave emphasis to Germany's 
rapidly developing troubles on her Eastern Front. In the 
Ukraine, with its population of 25,000,000, small landholders 
had risen in guerrilla revolt against Eichhorn's troops. The 
occupation of their farms by German troops had been more 
than the peasants could stand, and they rose to a man 
against the German invaders. The assassination of Eichhorn 
was strong indication of the progress made by this guerrilla 
war. Later reports were that chaos reigned throughout the 
Ukraine. Rich crops on which Germany had counted 
strongly were being destroyed in a wholesale manner, and 
economic production of all kinds was paralyzed. The 
entire Ukraine had become a hostile battle-ground for Ger- 

Only three months before he was murdered, Eichhorn had 
arrested Ukrainian Ministers on the floor of the Rada, had 
declared in the Ukraine, "a state of enhanced protection," 
which meant that all tribunals were superseded by German 
courts-martial, had arrested men here, dispersed mobs there, 
and finished by installing a new government under German 
protection. Eichhorn's assassination and that of Mirbach were 
proof that there were men in Russia whose detestation of 
the German conquest was active enough to make them willing 
to risk their own lives in killing high German officials. 
Under Eichhorn the Germans had undertaken to force the 
Ukraine to deliver up the grain with which to feed the 
hungry in Austria and Germany. Because it turned out 
that there was not much wheat, to begin with, and that 
the peasants. intended to keep what there was, Eichhorn had 
taken strong measures to substitute the rule of the German 
army of occupation for that of the Rada, installed his state 
of "enhanced protection," filled jails to suit his own notion, 
and then forced the overturn of the Rada Government in 
favor of a dictatorship. What had happened was a striking 
comment on the German incapacity for getting along with 



other nations. Assassination and peasant rebellions were the 
result of three months of Eichorn. 

In an agreement, reported in July to have been made 
between the Allies and the Murman Regional Council, were 
embodied some of the principles which were to prevail in 
any general plan to help Russia. First of all was economic 
relief. Food was to be imported for the needy population. 
Supplies of manufactured goo'ds were also to be brought in, 
along with material for construction-work in restoring and 


Allied warships are lying at anchor In the harbor, and in the distance are 
seen hills which had been fortified 

equipping transportation. Whatever steps were taken for 
military defense were to be at the request and with the co- 
operation of the Murman people and their local government, 
and were to have the sole aim of repelling German aggres- 
sions. The Allies formally disclaimed any thought of forci- 
ble intervention or conquest, and asserted that their only 
object was "to guard the integrity of the Murman region 
for a great, united Russia." The United States Government 
was understood to be a party to this agreement. London 



on July 23d heard from Vladivostock that the Provisional 
Government in Eastern Siberia had submitted to the Allies 
a request for joint military action. There was every hope 
that the situation would be liquidated and the danger of 
civil war averted. 

In President Wilson's long-delayed announcement of his 
policy toward Russia, made known on August 5, a former 
scheme for a great military expedition through Russian ter- 
ritory was definitely rejected. Mr. Wilson and his advisers 
were against it for moral reasons, and also on practical 
military grounds. Army authorities at Washington had long 
been opposed to the sending of large bodies of troops to 
Siberia. They saw in it, first of all, an unwise diversion of 
effort. The great battle for Russia was being fought in 
France and Flanders, and why dissipate our forces? Besides, 
the problem of dispatching and maintaining big armies 
across the Pacific was much more easily solved in a club- 
corner, or in a letter to a newspaper, than in the offices of 
the General Staff. Only ''a few thousand soldiers" were to 
be sent by the United States and Japan to act as a guard 
at Vladivostock, and by France and England, in conjunction 
with this country, at Archangel. Emphasis was laid by the 
President upon the predominating aim of giving aid to the 
Russians "in their present desperate difficulties." These 
were economic as well as political indeed, the political 
crisis would not have been so acute but for impending 
famine and industrial and commercial demoralization. 

A "mission of rescue" was to be sent to Siberia, and to 
comprise not only representatives of the Red Cross and the 
Young Men's Christian Association, who were skilled in or- 
ganizing assistance for the wretched and starving, but ex- 
perts in trade, agriculture and industry, who would place 
their services at the disposal of the Russian people. The 
latter were to be assured in the most positive manner of our 
disinterested motives. Our Government contemplated "no 
interference with the political sovereignty of Russia, no in- 
tervention in her internal affairs not even in the local 
affairs of the limited areas which her military force may be 
obliged te occupy and no impairment of her territorial 
integrity, either now or hereafter." What we were about to 


Poland had already been recognized by several Powers when the events nar- 
rated in adjoining pages were leading apparently to the salvation of Russia 



do had for its single and only object "the rendering of 
such aid as shall be acceptable to the Russian people them- 
selves in their endeavors to regain control of their own 
affairs, their own territory, and their own destiny." The 
Japanese Government was to give similar assurance. 

Official announcement was made on August 6 of the land- 
ing of Allied forces, naval and military, at Archangel. The 
landing was made in concurrence with the wishes of the 
Russian population, and created enthusiasm. American 
troops were among the forces landed, the first detachment 
including members of the Russian Officers' League. The 
British Government on August 12 issued a declaration for- 
mally recognizing the Czecho-Slovak armies as an Allied 
force regularly waging warfare against the Central Powers. 
Problems, intricate and vital, were raised for Allied diplo- 
macy by the British Government's formal recognition of the 
Czecho-Slovaks as an Allied "nation," and of the Czecho- 
slovak forces in Russia, Italy and France as Allied armies. 
Such an act went further than the British declaration in 
favor of a Jewish state in Palestine, because Mr. Balfour's 
declaration that "the British Government views with favor 
the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people," 
might mean either independence or autonomy, conceivably 
even under Turkish rule. The Czecho-Slovaks had their 
national home already; their soil was a large part of the 
Austrian Empire, and to recognize them as a "nation" was 
presumably to recognize their full independence. 

The Czecho-Slovaks were Austria's northern Slavs. They 
stretched in a belt about four hundred miles long, and an 
average of one hundred deep, from the western frontier of 
Bohemia to the eastern border of Galicia, with the Czechs, 
or Bohemians and Moravians, as the western branch, and the 
Slovaks as the eastern branch. In smaller numbers they 
were found in Austrian Silesia. A Czecho-Slovak nation 
would be approximately ten millions strong. Serious enough 
as the problem of a separation from the Hapsburg monarchy 
was bound to be, it was rendered more difficult by the fact 
that the problem affected Hungary as well as Austria 
proper, for the Slovaks were almost entirely in Hungarian 
territory. The ordinary antagonism between Hungary and 



Austria, which was one of the factors in the Hapsburg 
problem, could not, therefore, be counted upon in the pres- 
ent instance where both members of the Dual Monarchy 
were equally threatened. Hungary, moreover, was even 
more seriously affected than Austria by the Jug'o-Slav (or 
Southern Slav) movement. 

By August 12, Japanese forces had landed at Vladivostok 
and joined the British and French. The Allied contingents 
received ovations at many points on their way to the front. 
The British occupied the first line and sent out scouting 
parties. The presence of Allied forces created an excellent 
effect among the Czecho-Slovaks. The Japanese were re- 
viewed by naval and military officers at Czech headquarters, 
where their commander was warmly congratulated. The 
Allies unanimously agreed on the necessity of proclaiming 
martial law at Vladivostok, owing to the threatening atti- 
tude of the local Bolsheviki. The Don Cossacks by August 
16 had cleared the left bank of the Don and were marching 
victoriously on Zarizym, from which they were only one 
day's march. Cossacks from the northern Don region had 
entered the Government of Voronesh. The Don and Kuban 
Governments and leaders in adjoining regions entered into 
negotiations looking to the establishment of a joint central 

Not even the British Government could make a satisfac- 
tory analysis of the Russian situation, but all reports pointed 
unmistakably to the fact that Germany was embarrassed by 
events in the East. Whether the Bolsheviki were crumbling 
away, whether Germany desired and could successfully re- 
store the monarchy, whether recognition of the Czecho- 
slovaks was a wise political maneuver, were questions about 
which opinion was sharply divided and the public poorly 
informed. Much about Russia remained obscure. Three 
Allied expeditions at Archangel, Murmansk and Vladivo- 
stok had begun to move against the Bolshevists. Czecho- 
slovaks were fighting the Bolsheviki in European Russia 
and in Siberia. When the Bolsheviki took control of the 
stricken country their chance for success depended on their 
ability to improve the economic condition of the masses, 
y had failed, and the situation had grown steadily worse. 



Germany needed Russian grain, but she got comparatively 
little; probably only 200,000 tons, including what she got 
from the Ukraine. This grain had been obtained only after 
threats and the bullying of peasants. In return Germany 
was giving nothing. Russian peasants were laying the 
blame on Bolshevist leaders. With hardly a friend, and 
millions of enemies in both the Central Powers and the 
Allied countries, the Bolshevists were now at bay, and there 
was little doubt what their fate would be unless the Allies 

The Brest-Litovsk peace negotiations had marked the be- 
ginning of Germany's end as a victorious belligerent. There 
she committed a great diplomatic as well as a moral crime. 
The greed of the Junker class was responsible. The possi- 
bility of victory in the West had gone for all time with 
Ludendorff's offensive crumbling on all sections. Germany 
also saw her expectations in the East far from realized, and 
she could not weaken her Western lines. If the Allies had 
been embarrassed by the Russian debacle, Germany now 
stood in far worse position. America's military contribution 
had already made good in the west for the loss of Russia 
in the east. Germany could no longer win in the west; her 
only chance of getting something out of the war still lay 
in the east, and that chance was passing. 15 Petrograd's 
reign of terror was raging unchecked in August. It was 
estimated that 30,000 arrests among army officers and mid- 
dle-class citizens had been made since the beginning of that 
month. Railway service between Moscow and Petrograd had 
been so imperilled that unusual police measures had to be taken . 
when the German Embassy on special trains journeyed out of 
Moscow. Another train had to carry 800 German soldiers in 
Russian uniforms, men who had been kept in Moscow since 
the assassination of Mirbach. 

The United States Government, on September 8, recog- 
nized the nationality of the Czecho-Slovaks. It thus took a 
step which practically committed America to the dismem- 
berment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It meant that 
with the disintegration of the Empire and the aspirations of 
the several opprest races for independence and nationality, 

15 London dispatch from Arthur S. Draper to The Tribune (New York). 



the American Government was not only in sympathy, but 
that formal and practical effect had been given to previous 
declarations of sympathy by recognizing the Czecho-Slovak 
National Council as a de-facto belligerent government. 

The vanguard of the Czecho-Slovak forces from Verch- 
neudinsk, eighty miles east of Lake Baikal, by September 1, 
had joined the troops of General Semenoff on the Onon 
River. General Diedrichs was in telegraphic communication 


with the Trans-Baikal Czechs. There was now an uninter- 
rupted chain of Allied troops from Pensa, on the Volga in 
Europe, to Vladivostok. Czecho-Slovak recognition as a 
belligerent nation by the United States, following that of 
Great Britain, meant a new certainty of national inde- 
pendence for 10,000,000 Czechs and Slovaks inhabiting 
Bohemia, Moravia, Austrian Silesia and Slovakia. For long 
centuries before these people had had no friend on their 
borders anywhere, completely encircled as they were by im- 
memorial enemies, the Germans and Magyars. Prussia, 
Saxony, Bavaria, and the Austrian Duchies surrounded them 



on the north, west and south, Magyar lands on the south- 
east. Their only neighbors, the Austrian Poles, were bound 
by ties of traditional friendship to the Magyars, and for 
forty years had maintained a tacit understanding with the 
Austrian Germans. Absolutely unaided, the Czech nation 
had survived the trials of centuries, and it was of the very 
irony of history that the common war-aim of all who were 
fighting on the side of the Entente should be closely bound 
up with the cause of this most isolated of nations, and that 
the international position of Bohemia after the war should 
become the truest test of victory. When once a free Bohe- 
mian land emerged in the heart of Central Europe, the world 
would know that the flood of German-Magyar aggression had 

Our recognition of the Czecho-Slovaks was purely a war 
measure, as Lincoln's emancipation act had been. If we had 
not been at war with Austria, the recognition of one of the 
nationalities making up her composite empire would not have 
entered into the imagination of our Government. Judged 
by the ordinary tests, the Czecho-Slovaks had shown few 
of the attributes of sovereignty. They had no government ex- 
cept a National Council in partibus and no capital. But they 
had an army, and it was largely for the sake of this army 
that recognition was accorded. Czecho-Slovak troops were 
the mainstay of the Allied military effort in Russia. By 
admitting their rights as belligerents, the Allies were in a 
position both to use them and protect them. The Austrian 
Government could not now go on hanging or shooting them, 
when captured, as traitors, without exposing itself to re- 
prisals. As to the form of recognition, the American was 
somewhat different from the one adopted by England, 
France and Italy. But the effect was the same. The dis- 
memberment of Austria had been disclaimed in 1917 as an 
object, but now it was implicitly asserted as one. There 
could be no independent Czecho-Slovak national Government 
without an Austrian break-up. 

While Berlin and the Bolsheviki Government were sign- 
ing at Moscow treaties confirming and extending Germany's 
Russian spoliations, the real Russia seemed to be moving 
toward deliverance. The shadowy authority of the Soviet 



regime seemed melting. Czecho-Slovak forces had appeared on 
the outskirts of Nijni-Novgorod, an ancient town in the 
heart of Great Russia, only about 260 miles northeast of 
Moscow. They had reached -about 150 miles west of their 
former north-and-south base on the Volga. For a couple of 
months they had been holding the Volga line from Kasan 
on the north, through Simbirsk to Samara. The Soviet 

He is talking with Gen. Conrad von HOtzendorf, the Austrian Commander 

Government apparently had lost control of the whole Volga 
region. Czecho-Slovaks, cooperating with anti-Bolshevist 
Russians, were making rapid progress toward the Vologda 
Junction. Marching east from Lake Baikal, they had cap- 
tured Chita, the capital of Transbaikalia and the chief Red 
Guard base in that province. This meant that Transbaikalia 
was nearly cleared of Bolshevist forces, the'r only line of 
retreat northeast from Chita, following the Amur branch 

V. VII 25 



of the Siberian Railroad into the Amur Province, where 
they could be isolated and trapt. Japanese and other Allied 
troops, operating north from Vladivostok, were pushing 
down the Ussuri Valley toward the Amur. Allied interven- 
tion in Russia had thus produced results. The whole fabric 
of Teutonized Bolshevism seemed threatened with demoli- 

A ghastly picture of Russia was painted by Arno Dosch- 
Fleurot. 16 "Only here, back in civilization where murder is 
a crime," he said, "do we begin to comprehend how little 
the world can understand what Russia has come to." The 
Bolsheviki had instituted a reign of terror "as the only 
means to maintain the dictatorship, killing without trial or 
before inquisitional tribunals." Peasants were in revolt 
everywhere. Every city in Russia witnessed scenes of terror. 
Conditions were even worse in the provinces. Every man 
was at every other man 's throat. Petrograd had been burning 
in twelve different places, and there were indiscriminate 
massacres in the streets. At least 1,000 British subjects had 
been imprisoned in Petrograd, or been otherwise deprived of 
their liberty by the Bolshevists. July and August, 1918, were 
months of horror which never would be forgotten by persons 
who had seen Russia's two great cities, Petrograd and Mos- 
cow, pass through the mad attempt of the Bolsheviki to shoot 
or imprison a-11 persons who disagreed with their wild 
efforts to control Russia. Night had been hideous in Moscow 
for months because of volleys fired by execution squads in 
military enclosures where prisoners were kept. Foreigners 
and Russians alike were searched without warrants. Dr. 
Karl Helfferich, the new German Ambassador at Moscow, 
had rushed back to Berlin and reported that Moscow was in 
such a state of anarchy that the Embassy could not stay 
there. Two attempts were made on his life while he was in 
Moscow. Shouts were heard in Moscow everywhere, day 
and night. Motor-lorries filled with armed soldiers dashed 
madly through the streets with utter disregard for the lives 
of civilians. It was absurd to compare these conditions to 

19 A New York World correspondent who reached Stockholm from Russia 
arly in September. 



the French Reign of Terror, which, by comparison, was a 
mild and well-organized system of government. 

The year 1918 continued to be a year of chaos, approx- 
imating anarchy, with territorial disintegration, rival gov- 
ernments, civil war, famine, pestilence, and industrial stag- 
nation in which Lenine and Trotzky pursued their ruthless 
way not yet checked. On August 30 two women of the ' ' intel- 
lectual class ' ' attempted to assassinate Lenine, but .succeeded 
in merely wounding him. In consequence of this the Bol- 
sheviki began a savage campaign against the "intellectuals," 
massacring hundreds of them without the formality of arrest 


During a bombardment of the Kremlin, St. Basil's took fire, but was 
saved from destruction 


and trial, and for several weeks a reign of terror prevailed 
at Petrograd. It was finally ended for a time by a procla- 
mation of Lenine's on September 26, after several thousand 
persons had been killed, but a few weeks later violence was re- 
sumed and hundreds of former officers were shot, and pris- 
oners generaly put to death "to save food." There were 
threats that on November 10 there would be a general mas- 
sacre of the entire bourgeoisie and intellectual classes, but 
this monstrous scheme, if ever contemplated, was not then 
carried out. But great atrocities took place later. John A. 
Embry, American Consul at Omsk, who arrived in New York 
in July, 1919, gave an account of what had happened in 
Siberia and Eastern Russia in the last eight months, during 
practically all of which time he was in charge of American 
affairs in Kolchak's capital city. He said no language could 
picture the atrocities that had marked Bolshevist rule in the 
territories recaptured by Kolchak, a reign, of terror marked 
by murder, violation of women, theft and arson, perpetrated 
with cruelty unparalleled in the history of civilization. He 
had photographs to prove what he said, pictures taken by 
himself or by responsible American Red Cross officials. Men, 
women and children had been driven into woods and clubbed 
to death. Public squares had become shambles. Committees, 
vested with power of life and death, had held orgies of 
slaughter, giving no pretense of trial. Jails were opened 
and criminals invited to work their will. 

By the third week in September, 1918, ghastly reports of 
wholesale executions in Russia at the hands of the Bolsheviki 
had reached the outer world. Some hundreds, perhaps thou- 
sands, had perished as if in a massacre. The most awful 
figure in this Red Terror, the man with the most murder on 
his soul, was known as the Commissioner Against the Coun- 
ter-Revolution, a dapper little blond Lett named Peters. 
He was described as a crouched little man with pale eyes 
filled with venom, who sat in the Kremlin at Moscow, 
"where he signed away daily the lives of scores of men he 
never saw." So soon as any one was declared a counter- 
revolutionary by a member of the Soviet, Peters ordered 
him shot without sending him before a revolutionary tribu- 
nal. Peters had absolute power of life or death for hundreds 




in Russia. He had become a mere furious little animal, 
signing death warrants all day, often not looking to see 
what he was signing. Once he was seen to sign an order 
to shoot seventy-two officers without even glancing down 
at the paper. 17 

It was evident that the French reign of terror was a mild 
exercise of authority by a government leaning to the side of 
mercy when compared with what was going on in Russia. 
It had been reported that 812 persons were executed in a 
single week by Bolshevist law in Petrograd alone. In Paris, 
during the Reign of Terror, the total of lives taken by for- 
mal execution in seventeen months was 2,596. There had 
been about a hundred executions before the Reign of Terror 
began, but counting these, 2,700 would be the outside limit 
for Paris alone. The Petrograd tribunal had executed in one 
week 812 persons as against 2,700 executed by the Paris 
tribunal in seventeen months. With the whole world aghast 
at these crimes, the American Government, through Secre- 
tary of State Lansing, on September 21, sent a communica- 
tion to all Allied and neutral governments, urging them to 
take some immediate action in condemnation of these acts 
of slaughter. This action was taken at the direction of the 
President, and followed the receipt of definite information 
in official dispatches describing the reign of terror in Bol- 
shevist Russia. The note urged "some immediate action 
entirely divorced from the atmosphere of belligerency and 
the conduct of the war, to impress upon the perpetrators of 
these crimes the aversion with which civilization regards 
their present wanton acts." 

Even weak-minded people who had seen in Bolshevism 
merely a characteristically Russian phase of an upward 
striving of European Democracy, began to recognize it as 
an essentially evil, wantonly destructive, and cynically 
despotic thing. The reign of terror which its leaders had 
instituted in an effort to save their own skins, was the work 
of men who lived in abject terror of an impending doom. 
The sanguinary excesses which provoked the indignant pro- 
test of President Wilson were a manifestation of Bolsheviki 

"Stockholm dispatch from Arno Dosoh-Fleurot to The World (New York). 



despair of struggle against a fate that had been invited, 
by men as cowardly as they were cruel. The indiscriminate 
slaughter of Russian citizens, for which the President in- 
voked the abhorrence of all civilized nations, were rightfully 
reckoned as an addition to the long list of German crimes, 
for without German support and countenance they could not 
have been committed. 

Proofs removing doubt that Lenine and Trotzky had been 
paid as German agents in Russia were laid before the world 
in September by the United States Government in an amaz- 


ing series of official documents disclosed through the Com- 
mittee on Public Information. These documents not only 
showed how the German Government, through its Imperial 
Bank, had paid Lenine, Trotzky, and their immediate asso- 
ciates, to betray Russia into deserting her Allies, but gave 
added proof that Germany had perfected her plans for a 
war of world-conquest long before the assassinations at 
Sarajevo. Before the war was four months old, and more 
than two years before the United States was drawn into it, 
Germany had set on foot plans to "mobilize destructive 



agents and observers," to cause explosions, strikes and out- 
rages in this country, and planned to employ "anarchists 
and escaped criminals" for the purpose. The original docu- 
ments, including photographs of some of the originals and 
typewritten circulars marked "very secret" or "private," 
many of them bearing annotations by Bolshevik leaders, and 
containing references to "Comrade Trotzky" or "Comrade 
Lenine," were given. Bolshevik leaders had themselves in- 
formed their "comrade" that the German Government re- 
quired the return of the order of the German Imperial Bank 
depositing 50,000,000 gold rubles in a Stockholm bank for 
Lenine and Trotzky, and that the accounts of the bank were 
audited to conceal the payments. 

It became clear that the Bolsheviki had ruled Russia 
for Germany. There might be something grand about their 
villainy, but they had ruled as German agents. As to what 
happened at Brest-Litovsk in the winter of 1917-18, there 
was now ample proof that a huge nation of amiable but 
ignorant people, had been sold out by men who, with Ger- 
man aid, overthrew Kerensky and his Government. Ger- 
many's cold purpose was disclosed as having been to use 
Russia after the war as a mere province to be exploited for 
Germany's commercial gain. Communications had been sent 
to Bolshevik leaders by the German Imperial Bank giving 
"a complete synopsis of the terms on which Germany in- 
tended to have control of all Russian industries." 

One of the most hopeful undertakings for the redemption 
of Russia had begun in the first half of 1918 at Archangel 
under the protection of military and naval forces of the 
Allies and by August was formed the ' ' Government of North- 
ern Russia," with Nicholas Tchiakovsky, a revolutionist and 
Socialist, as President and Minister for Foreign Affairs. Its 
political program comprised the recreation of Russian demo- 
cratic power, the re-establishment of local self-government 
with universal suffrage, a reorganization of the National 
Army and a renewal of the war against Germany, with re- 
pudiation of the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Fierce attacks 
were made upon this Government by the Bolsheviki, and 
for a time it was all but overthrown, but on October 18 it 
became fully re-established. A more extensive movement 



had begun in Siberia, where during the month of May 
General Semenoff, an anti-Bolshevist Commander, and 
Admiral Kolchak, formerly commander of the Black Sea 
Fleet, set up an independent government beyond Lake 

On July 14, General Horvath, commander of the anti- 
Bolshevik Russian forces, appointed at Harbin a provisional 
War Cabinet for Siberia, with himself as Prime Minister, 
and associates from among recognized leaders of the Russian 
people. Meanwhile another government was formed at 
Omsk, which on July 26 claimed authority over all Siberia, 
and for a time there seemed danger of disastrous conflict 
between it and General Horvath 's Government. Horvath, 
on August 25, declared himself a military dictator, and was 
supported by the troops. On October 2 the Czecho-Slovaks 
prevented an attempted coup d'etat at Omsk, and by Oc- 
tober 7 the Horvath and Omsk Governments were amicably 
merged into one, but on November 19, a coup d'etat oc- 
curred, when three of the five directors arrested their two 
colleagues and proclaimed Admiral Kolchak dictator and 
commander of the All-Russian Army and Navy. Against 
this action General Semenoff vigorously protested, but by 
December 21 he had agreed to recognize Kolchak as dicta- 
tor, provided the latter would retire in favor of General 
Denikin, the Hetman of the Don Cossacks, as soon as a 
junction of the Cossack and Siberian forces could be effected. 
The German power in the Ukraine gradually waned, but the 
country remained in a disturbed and almost chaotic condi- 
tion until November 20, when a strong anti-German and 
anti-Bolshevik force of Cossacks, friendly to the All-Russian 
Government, marched in from Astrakhan, expelled the 
Ukrainian National Assembly and established a Provisional 
Government. This hopeful movement was under General 

Encouraging as the movement was, it had an enemy that 
was powerfully entrenched. As late as April, 1919, Lenine 
and Trotzky commanded the largest army in eastern Europe, 
conservatively estimated at 300,000 men, with as many more 
in reserve. This army, however, held the inside positions, 
and thus, tho handicapped by lack of transportation facili- 



ties, could strike in any direction, and more quickly than 
its adversaries. But against these advantages was the fact 
that at least five of the peoples of Europe were actively 
engaged in military preparations for defense Ukrainians, 
Roumanians, Bulgarians, Poles, and Germans. Besides these 
there were in southeastern Europe 850,000 Allied troops 
English, French, Serbians, Greeks, Roumanians, and Italians, 
and of these the English and French alone numbered nearly 
300,000, which with the Czecho-Slovaks and Poles in the 
north, made a cordon of more than a million men who could 
be stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea. 

Most encouraging of all was the advance of Kolchak's army 
in Siberia. With Allied and Czecho-Slovak support in the 
rear, heartened by promise of Allied recognition of the 
Omsk Government, with Allied equipment and military 
advice at his command, Kolchak began a scientifically 
planned campaign in March, his army moving forward in 
three columns. Two columns in the south reached tributa- 
ries of the Volga, and were near the main stream. The 
northern column traversed one-third of the way from the 
Asian border to Petrograd and was soon to menace Vyatka, 
commanding the branch line to the Dwina River. What 
might prove the beginning of a movement that would redeem 
all northern Russia was the success of the Finns in cutting 
the Murmank Railway at a point as near Petrograd as New 
London is to New York. Meanwhile a successful action at 
Kief dealt the Bolsheviki a violent blow, and Polish and 
Ukrainian forces administered heavy blows in western Rus- 
sia. The only offset to these reverses were some successes 
by the Bolsheviki in the Crimea. For the first time the 
Russians seemed to be fighting the Bolsheviki successfully 
and there began to be some semblance of government in 
Russia. The Kolchak movement had furnished the nucleus 
around which had grown all that was practical and en- 
forceable for a real Russia as against the dismal tyranny 
which the minority set up after the overthrow of Kerensky. 

Outside assistance might have saved Russia earlier, but fail- 
ing that, Russia had finally risen herself. Resolute men in 
Siberia had raised the banner of rebellion, and from all 
over Russia men had flocked to Kolchak's flag. It was 



nominally a Siberian, but really an All-Russian, army that 
he was leading in what seemed to be a successful march. 
Kolchak, by the end of May, had captured the last place 
where the Bolshevik! could make a stand before Samara. 
"What was more important, 
the Archangel Government had 
recognized the supreme authority 
of the Omsk Government as the 
Provisional National Government 
of All Russia. That completed 
the political laision between Si- 
beria and Archangel. In other 
words, all of Russia that was op- 
posed to Bolshevism was now 
united from the Arctic to the 
Don, and from Samara to Vladi- 
vostok. Russia, thrown back on 
her own devices, seemed to be 
working out her own salvation. 

The story of the rise of the 
Omsk Government in Siberia was 
the inevitable one of the ascend- 
ancy of the age-old instinct of 
self-preservation. The Bolsheviki 
tore down. The people had be- 
gun to reconstruct. The move- 
ment for recognition of Kolchak 
by the Allies and the United 
States as the de facto government 
in Russia was supported gener- 
ally in Paris, and by May 26 the 

Council of Four had unani- ADMIRAL KOLCHAK 

mously decided in favor of rec- Leader of an anti-Boishevik army 

. . . . . recognized by the Entente 

ognition in principle. 

Kolchak assured the Allied and associated Powers that he 
did not intend to retain power longer than required by the 
interest of the country, and reaffirmed his intention to call 
elections for the Constituent Assembly as soon as the Bol- 
sheviki had been crusht. The Peace Conference had practi- 
cally no alternative but to recognize Kolchak, because peace. 



lacking Russia, would not have been peace, and the Soviet 
Government had refused, to "accept the fundamental condi- 
tion of suspending hostilities." There had to all ap- 
pearance begun to rise solid ground for hope that Russia 
might be saved and as many wise men had always insisted 
that she must be saved by her own people. Kolchak was a 
Russian admiral, who, when the Czar abdicated, had supported 
the Provisional Government set up under Prince Lvoff. When 
Lvoff's administration was overthrown to make way for Ke- 
rensky, a plot was laid to put Kolchak out of the way ; but he 
went to Sebastopol, Odessa, and other cities on the Black Sea 
coast where he preached not only on shore, but on board 
various men-of-war doctrines of revolution and perfect equal- 
ity of all men, even those before the mast as well as officers 
on the quarter-deck. 

Meanwhile, General Denikin, leader of the Don Cossacks, 
continued to make headway in May and June, 1919, against the 
Bolsheviki, altho Kolchak suffered at the same time a disturb- 
ing reverse. In three weeks a volunteer army had trebled its 
territory. Along the whole front, from the Caspian to the 
Sea of Azov, four Red armies had been thoroughly defeated, 
had lost half their number and were still retreating. 
Denikin 's forces had captured 22,000 prisoners, 150 guns, 
350 machine-guns, 4 armored trains, and an immense quan- 
tity of other booty. This energetic push promised soon to 
free the Don country entirely from Red forces. Largely 
through the action of tanks and the daring raids of General 
Shkuro's horsemen, the Dontez Basin had been conquered, 
and the Reds were retiring with such speed that if con- 
tinued it would threaten the early fall of Kharkoff and 

The camel-shaped front of General Denikin 's armies in 
South Russia had 'become in June a sort of irregular bulge 
which continued to swell out in all directions. Enemy 
forces had been crumbling between Kharkov and the Volga, 
and Cossack patrols were scouring the country northward and 
roping in scattered and demoralized enemy units. The 
Bolsheviki 's Hindenburg line seemed broken, its morale 
shaken by the appearance of British tanks, Russian soldiers 
in British uniform and the stimulating effect of Denikin 's 



proclamations. Trotzky had made superhuman but futile 
efforts to stem the advance of the Volunteer army, and the 
late Emperor's train, in which he traveled, had once barely 
escaped capture by Cossacks. In this train, Trotzky had 
a suite of expert propagandists, forty typists, a printing 
press which turned out thousands of leaflets and proclama- 
tions, and a newspaper called On the Road. The Ninth 
Soviet Army had now been annihilated, and the Eighth and 


The date of this scene is April 9, 1919 

Thirteenth were in full retreat. In the North, General 
Petlura had advanced along the entire front and was within 
twenty miles of Kief. Forces under General Grigorieff, 
after occupying Odessa, Kherson, and Nikolaiev, were 
marching northward to establish communication with 
Petlura and were beginning an offensive along the Dniester. 
By July 9 the Crimea had been entirely cleared of Bol- 
sheviki, the advance being over a front of seventy miles; 
it had deprived the Bolsheviki of communication between 
their main forces and those in the Crimea. Denikin's vol- 
unteers were meeting with success on all parts of the front. 



One column had reached a point on the Caspian coast fifty- 
five miles southwest of Astrakhan, and another was on the 
banks of the Volga northwest of Tchernoi-Jar. In captur- 
ing Tsaritsin, Denikin took 10,000 prisoners and a quantity 
of guns. He was now only seventy-five miles from Saratov, 
and volunteers had pushed forty miles beyond Karkov. In 
the Don country, 'by the end of the month, the volunteer 
army and the Cossacks were securing further surrenders and 
pursuing the Reds westward in the direction of Poltava and 
Kief. In the governments of Voroness and Sarakoff the 
Don Cossacks -were being joined by peasants in revolt. Red 
reinforcements had been brought up to Tsaritsin, but Bolshe- 
vist railway approaches to the town had been cut off and 
Don Cossacks had reached the Volga. There seemed nothing 
now to prevent a break through to Moscow, provided com- 
munications could be secured and civilian administration 
guaranteed. 18 The loss of Ekaterinburg, reported in July, 
loosened the hold of Kolchak on the Ural mining region, 
of which Ekaterinburg was the center, but he still occu- 
pied Tcheliabinsk, on the main stem of the Trans-Siberian 
Railway, southeast of Ekaterinburg and east of the moun- 
tains. Kolchak 's armies had now apparently evacuated the 
district east of the Volga that had been conquered by the 
Czecho-Slovaks in 1918, so that the route to Moscow from the 
east had, for a time, at least, been closed. But there was 
still a route open from the South, where Denikin had been 
making steady progress for several months, altho Denikin 
at Kharkov was still 600 miles from Moscow. 

Certain definite deductions were possible from the still 
somewhat confused situation in Russia. The first was that 
Russian Bolshevism had entered upon what looked like its 
final phase. Unless it could again be favored in some 
extraordinary way, it had exhausted its possibilities. The 
evidence was cumulative that the populations over which 
the Bolsheviks had ruled longest had reached a stage of 
disillusionment and reaction that was ineffective only because 
the people, disorganized, crusht, and starving had not the 
means or the strength to rise against them. Meanwhile the 

' Plepatch by Harold* Williams, from Novocherkark, to the New York 



Bolshevik Government could not cope with corruption and 
disaffection among its own followers. Nearly every one of 
its various fantastic administrative schemes had broken 
down. Its fierce terrorist measures, its encouragement of 
plunder and mass espionage, its efforts to break up the 
population into a chaos of warring classes and groups had 
been nothing more than devices for staving off for a time 
an inevitable downfall. The Bolsheviks themselves were 
represented as living in a nightmare, possest by a sort of 
criminal insanity. Their statesmanship had become the 
strange diabolical cunning of the madman who seeks to 
intimidate the sane. 

Thus the struggle for the restoration of Russia was be- 
ginning to give clear proof of solid achievement. In Siberia, 
at Omsk, with Admiral Kolchak as ruler, the work of recon- 
struction had to all appearances really begun, in the face 
of enormous difficulties, political and material. A real and 
effective administration had been established, an army had 
been created, all these in spite of serious lack of munitions 
and only tolerable means of transport. Kolchak was seen 
to be an able, resolute man of action, with broad views and 
a finely tempered character. His Government had made 
progress in organization, it had a good financial basis, and 
it ruled over the largest extent of Russian territory outside 
of Bolshevik Russia, 

It was to Denikin's army that the masses of Russian 
patriots turned with the greatest affection as a symbol of 
the stubborn continuity of the Russian State in the midst 
of overwhelming disaster. The story of the desperate strug- 
gle of his gallant little army in the southeastern steppes 
made a thrilling record, even amid the great annals of this 
war. Its former leaders were dead Korniloff, who, on 
the Bukowina front in the early summer of 1917, had won 
for Russia her last victory over the Central Powers, having 
been killed by a Bolshevik shell near Ekaterinodar in 
March, 1919, and Alexeiev, who, under the ill-fated Provi- 
sional Government had revived hopes that he might soon 
have the Russian Army in a state of fighting efficiency, hav- 
ing died in October, 1918, worn out with grief over the fate 
of his country. 



Denikin's army consisted at first almost solely of officers. 
Its strength in March, 1918, was only about 4,000. Its 
casualties during many long months of grim warfare had 
been over 30,000. Its strength early in 1919 had risen to 
over 10,000. It had fought unaided the enemy, overshadowed 
tho it was by Bolsheviks and Germans. It had not only 
maintained its own honor respecting the Allies and Russia, 
but had vindicated the honor of the Russian name. Denikin 
was "a clean, strong man, firm and tolerant, a devoted 
patriot, with every quality of a leader except that of per- 
sonal ambition." Russia had been the arena of a remarkable 
'and bewildering combination of centripetal and centrifugal 
forces. She had been in the throes of a struggle for nation- 
making, extraordinarily varied in character and quality, yet 
in all its forms it was obscurely tending to one end her 
restoration. 19 

19 Principal Sources : The "Military Expert" of The Times, The Tribune, 
The World, The Evening Post, The Times, The Sun, The Journal of Commerce, 
New York ; Associated Press dispatches, "The American Year Book for 1918" 
(D. Appleton & Co.), The Literary Digest, Harold Williams in The Edinburgh 
Review for April, 1919. 



University of California, San Diego 


JAN 1 3 1984 


JAM 1 5 1P 84 

MAR 1 4 1986 

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UCSD Libr. 



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